Some areas face blackout of Steelers game

KDKA carrying NFL Network feed only in Pittsburgh-area market

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The Steelers-Rams game at 8:15 p.m. tomorrow will be televised on the NFL Network and on KDKA in the Pittsburgh Dedicated Market Area, but it might not be available in Somerset and Bedford counties and some areas of West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.


Tomorrow
  • Game: Steelers (9-5) at St. Louis Rams (3-11)
  • TV/Radio: NFL Network & KDKA.
  • When: 8:15 p.m.
  • Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis.

Cable viewers who don't have the NFL Network can still pick up the game on KDKA in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties, along with Monongalia and Preston counties in West Virginia and Garrett County in Maryland.

Comcast will carry the game to all of its customers who receive KDKA-TV as part of their channel lineup, a Comcast spokesman said yesterday. Customers who don't get KDKA-TV as part of their channel lineup can view the game on NFL Network by subscribing to Comcast's Sports Entertainment Package.

KDKA is carried on other cable companies outside of those areas, but those outlets are required to black out the game under the NFL's TV policy. Those who can get KDKA's signal via antenna will not be affected, regardless of market area.

Somerset and Bedford counties are in the Johnstown-Altoona Designated Market Area, where cable providers will carry regular CBS programming while the Steelers game is in progress. Areas of northwestern Pennsylvania, northwestern West Virginia, eastern Ohio and western Maryland also might be blacked out.

KDKA and the Steelers say the decisions are not theirs but are NFL policy.

The game is available to subscribers of DirecTV and the Dish Network, which carry the NFL Network as part of their service.

The NFL Network has an eight-game, end-of-season package of Thursday and Saturday night games, and about 40 percent of the nation's TV viewers can see the games. There is a dispute, however, involving money. The NFL wants cable companies to carry the package as part of the basic service for a payment of about 80 cents per month for every subscriber to be paid to the NFL, but cable companies such as Comcast have argued successfully in court that the NFL Network should be on a premium tier so that only subscribers who want the programming would pay extra to receive it. A resolution might hinge on congressional action.



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