As a cable worker I will tell you that most (not all but most) of the time cops will side on the utility workers side. If there is a pole we need to get to in your backyard just let us get to it. We have a right of way easement for 24 hour access to all poles our lines are on.
access, yes but access to property to get to a pole and practically digging a yard up (yes I know its not really digging it up, Ive seen those trench cutter cable layers) to run a line though are two different things. cable is not like water or electric.. its not essential.
As a matter of fact the line from the tap to the house does in fact belong to the cable company and they will (if needed) replace that free of charge to customer. I do it all the time. So until you know the way it really works get off the high horse. Most cable guys really just want the customer to be happy and get the service they are paying for
they can run the line and give the customer the service they want.. all they have to do is run it the long way and not be on the neighbors property at all.
what do you guys do if theres an buried electric invisible pet fence or underground sprinkler system (Im genuinely curious)? have you actually run cable through yards against the owners permission when there another way to do it? just because it was already there (again, genuinely curious)?
as for my high horse, I simply dont like the posters "f*** you" attitude about shoving it down their throats, especially since theres another way to do it.
if it was me and he asked nicely Id say fine, go ahead, but take that "it will happen next week because I want my cable and dont want to pay extra to not mess with your property so tough luck" I would fight it any way I could, just on principle. I would hope it would never come down to some "neighbor war" (Ive heard some wild stories about neighbors that dont get along.. ).
guess it all comes down to respect. just as I would never go 4 wheeling or hunt on someones private property without permission, Id never impose on a neighbor without permission. guess Im just lucky to live in the country where folks respect each other and thier property.
look Im not trying to be a jerk. I hope the OP gets his cable one way or another, but cable is a private company, not a public service like gas, power, sewer and water. legally I have no idea if it can be forced. if you get the chance ask around the company and see what the deal is.