January 29

MPBN unable to broadcast Class A basketball state finals

The public broadcasting network says its ‘hands are tied’ because of a dispute between the civic center and Time Warner Cable.

From Staff Reports

A dispute between Time Warner Cable and trustees of the Cumberland County Civic Center has resulted in the Maine Public Broadcasting Network announcing it will be unable to televise the Class A boys’ and girls’ basketball state championship games on March 1.

click image to enlarge

In this March 2013 file photo, Tyler Norris, 24, starts the celebration for Hampden Academy wins the Class A boys' basketball state championship. A dispute between Time Warner Cable and trustees of the Cumberland County Civic Center has resulted in MPBN announcing it will be unable to televise the Class A state championship games on March 1.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, MPBN announced it would continue to televise tournament action from the Augusta Civic Center (where MPBN handles production duties) and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor (where Husson University and the New England School of Communications produce the games).

Until this year, Time Warner Cable handled production duties at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

“This is a tough situation as we definitely do not want to disappoint any of our viewers and basketball fans across the state,” said Gil Maxwell, MPBN’s chief technology officer, in a prepared statement. “We are in our 35th year of broadcasting the tournament and we completely stretch our own resources and rely on our partners in order to cover as many games as we can. We don’t have the equipment or the personnel to fill the void and attempt to cover the Portland Class A championship games – our hands are tied.”

MPBN plans to televise 42 tournament games this season, evenly split between Bangor and Augusta, beginning Feb. 19.

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