Super Blackout?

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Super Bowl Blackout? NEW YORK CITY: For most football fans in five cities serviced by Time Warner cable, the long-running dispute between Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch was little more than a battle between two egotistical billionaires. That has all changed now that Time Warner and Fox are in the midst of a game of chicken that could cut off access of the Fox network to 1.5 million viewers just as the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl are set to begin. Time Warner says Fox is threatening to pull its signal in five cities -- Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee and Detroit -- in retaliation for Time Warner's refusal to carry the Fox news channel in New York. Fox counters in full-page newspaper ads this week that Time Warner is forcing it to stop transmitting because the cable operator won't renegotiate contracts for access to the local stations. Feuding between the two big entertainment powerhouses dates back to Time Warner's decision not to carry the fledgling Fox News Channel on its cable systems. Fox sued Time Warner, arguing it broke an agreement to carry the channel, an agreement Time Warner says never existed. While both sides try to win fans' favor, neither side will be spared the wrath of football fanatics if they can't reach an agreement and keep the NFL on television.