Juneau resident Matthew Monagle checked the cable TV Guide channel last weekend, the Seattle Mariners' opening weekend. He found his game, flipped to Channel 36 and got a rude surprise: a news feed.
Fox Sports Network Northwest has an exclusive contract to broadcast Mariners games. It usually covers 110 of the baseball team's games each season, but this year it offered cable companies another 45 games for some extra money.
"It was more than we wanted to spend," said Benita Washburn, senior marketing manager for GCI.
Monagle and other fans were misled partly because TV Guide posted the wrong schedule for the FSN channel, including the games GCI hadn't paid for. It took a few days for the company to fix, too, Washburn said.
"It was very unfortunate," she said.
On the GCI Web site Friday, a schedule of Mariners games included the ones Juneau won't be watching, but didn't mention they weren't available. They were printed in red, though.
Washburn said FSN chooses what to show in lieu of the extra games. Substitute programming for one of the games this weekend was a beauty pageant, she said.
GCI is an Anchorage-based company that offers cable, phone and internet services in Alaska. The TV Guide Network is owned by Los Angeles-based Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. FSN Northwest is a regional sports network owned by Liberty Media Corp.