Friday, August 31, 2007

College football season is here! Time to watch the Wolverines kick some Appalachian ass...What?

Oh, I can't see the Big 10 game I want to watch? You're kidding me, right? No shit? Not even on the WWLiS's Gameplan? Only on the Big 10 Network, which I'm more than willing to pay for, but I can't get? I'm stuck listening to lame ass Michigan mouthpieces Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter on the radio? My only home TV option to watch Sparty on the deuce? Sparty?

Well... Fuck me...

That's how I'm feeling as we go into the first weekend of the college football season.

For the past few decades, on a normal college football Saturday, you'd find me in front of the tube at noon sharp. Beer and munchies in hand, I'd flip to one of the wolrldwide leader's channels, and tune in the Michigan Wolverines.

This season, I'm one of the of fans caught in a pissing match between mega conglomerates. The Big 10, the most pretentious and heavy handed group of schools in the nation, has drawn a line in the sand with their Big 10 Network. The cable companies, whom I despise, yet am forced to deal with as I have no other option, refuse to cross it.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Big 10 fans, are caught in a war of money, words, and power, unable to watch our favorite teams.

I've let Charter (My cable provider) know that I would very much like them to carry the B10N. all I've heard in return is bullshit mumbo jumbo, saying that it's being "Considered."

When it comes down to it, it's all about the money. In regard to the B10N pricing, this is what a Comcast rep had to say in today's Ann Arbor News...

"We don't feel that every customer should be burdened with a $1.10 month charge. There are a lot of customers that don't want to pay $13 a year."
Mr. Cable Mouthpiece says they have customers that don't want to pay for the B10N. That's all well and good. But guess what? I don't want to pay for 3 shopping networks, Court TV, the Hallmark Channel, Fit TV, the totally superfluous TV Guide Network, and countless other channels that I NEVER watch, and will NEVER have an interest in watching. Yet I have no choice in having to pay for those channels if I want to see networks I enjoy, like ESPN, FSN, FX, TNT, and Comedy Central.

You can't tell me that the B10N doesn't has as much, if not more, viewership potential than Fit fucking TV, or the "Why do I need a channel for TV listings when I have a built in on screen guide?" TV Guide Channel.

The cable conglomerates are totally talking out of both sides of their mouths on this argument. They claim they are doing us a favor by refusing to charge viewers extra for channels they don't watch (Like the B10N), but they have already been doing so to viewers for decades! (See any niche network you have programmed out of your favorites button, like Fit TV)

Not that I'm letting the holier-than-thou Big 10 off the hook. As much as they deny it, you know part of their not well thought out plan to gain basic cable traction in the Big 10 "Footprint" with the cable cartel was to have the Big 10 fanbase do the dirty work for them.

The bitching and moaning about our inability to watch the Wolverines/Buckeyes/Nittany Lions/Your favorite team would hopefully cause a consumer backlash, one with so much vitriol, that the cable monoliths would have no choice but to capitulate to the Big 10's wishes.

There's one small flaw in the Big 10's nefarious plan to become the biggest, baddest, most influential college conference in the land. They forgot that the cable companies have government awarded monopolies, and they couldn't honestly give 2 shits about their customers, and what their customers might like to watch.

You just need to spend 5 minutes on the phone with them to figure that out...

I'm willing to pay for it, so just give me my God damn Big 10 Network! Enough with the posturing, the press releases, the arguing back in forth in the media, as I have no sympathy for either side. Both are wrong, both are stubborn, both have more money than they know what to do with, and both are screwing over the people that give them all that money in the first place.

A pox on both their houses...

That's not the only cable incompetence I've had to deal with recently. This week, Charter threw we sports fans a bone, and added ESPNU! As Chris Farley would say, "Whoop-de-freakin'-do!"

ESPNU is just another network I'll rarely watch, though I'm paying through the nose for it. But I'll give them credit, it is a sports channel, and it has some live programming worth tuning in to see. It ain't the B10N, but it's a start.

As I investigated my new lineup, there was a surprise. Charter had bumped ESPN Classic off of basic. But where in the Hell is it? You'll never guess where I found it...

I do pay for an admittedly lame digital sports tier. You'd think that ESPN Classic, being a SPORTS NETWORK, would be moved to that sports tier. Nope, it was moved to a tier with likes of Woman's Entertainment, BET Jazz, and the Reelz Channel? What the fuck is the Reelz Channell? I'm already paying Charter WELL over a $100 a month, and they expect me to pay for that crap on top of it? Please.

Once again, the sports fans gets bent over by the cable company the Big 10 large, money grubbing, corporate asses.


  1. At least there's a little upside. ABC gets first dibs every week, so we don't have to worry about important UM games being on the BTN. ESPN gets the second choice 9 times and the BTN gets it 3 times.

    Reason #4375 to have DirecTV.

  2. Yeah, I have DirecTV, the basic package plus only the HD stuff. I DO NOT have DTV's sports package. But I'm getting Big 10 network for free. So cable's little argument doesn't seem to hold much water, if any at all.