DirecTV, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

March 25th, 2008 → 6:53 am @

I’m visiting my in-laws on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and I wake up at 5:30 to watch the game. I have the coffee all ready to go, my bowl of Cheerios in front of me, and nobody trying to snag the big leather recliner. I fire up the TV, flip through all the 800 other ESPNs, and get to ESPN2…where there is no reception. Not snow, not a blurry screen, not a fuzzy picture…nothing. After 25 minutes I get through to the nice folks at DTV and…they’re aware of the problem, and if it makes me feel any better, it’s happening everywhere in the country, but if I call back in a GODDAMN HOUR OR TWO they might have some more information.

I thought nothing could be worse than Cablevision. This is worse than Cablevision.

Oh, and, MLB Audio is “currently performing maintenance operations,” MLBTV is telling me that the Outer Banks of NC is apparently included in their blackout zone, and Dice-K is trying to remind everyone in Japan that he’s capable of throwing 180 pitches…without making it out of the sixth inning. Sigh.

Post Categories: 2008 Season & Daisuke Matsuzaka & DirecTV & Japan

God damn do I hate Major League Baseball.

April 4th, 2007 → 9:45 pm @

Enough people have complained about the complete stupidity of Major League Baseball’s decision to take it’s Extra Innings package away from the millions of cable subscribers that have, in the past, willingly shelled out more than $150 a year to watch their home team play its games even if they no longer live in the city of their team of choice.

Not surprisingly, the Times‘s Joe Nocera highlights just how stupid MLB truly is in a an article on the whole messy imbroglio. “Let’s face it,” Nocera writes, “the men who run baseball have a history of not making the smart play.” Truer words have never been spoken. After going through all the not-so-exciting details, Nocera sums up the issue nicely:

“So let’s think about what baseball has done here. In the interest of seeing to it that its baseball channel gets a running start on DirecTV, it has infuriated the cable industry, which is now unlikely to ever give it the time of day. It has turned down the opportunity to be guaranteed an astounding 30 million subscribers on Day 1 because it wants to squeeze the cable industry for more. … Plus, it has alienated 200,000 of its most passionate customers — the ones willing to pay $165 a year to see baseball games every night — taking away from them a fruit they had already tasted. Plus, it has forced those same fans to go to the baseball Web site to see those games — which, however good the site is, still entails scrunching over a screen and looking at a picture that doesn’t compare to say, a flat-screen plasma TV. Plus, it has reminded the world yet again how much sports is just another greedy business — exactly what its customers don’t want to be reminded of. Plus, it’s gotten Congress up in arms.* …

“Nice going, fellas. The N.F.L. would never do anything this dumb. Of course, that’s one of the big differences between pro football and pro baseball. The football guys actually know how to run their business with some intelligence.”

Color me spoiled — or color me stubborn — but I’m one of those passionate customers who absolutely refuses to pay for the honor of watching Sox games on my MacBook. (I spend enough damn time sitting at my desk as it is.) So tonight, I grudgingly shelled out $14.95 for the MLB Gameday Audio package (and no, dammit, I won’t put in a link)…and was greeted with the following message:

“Server busy. Please try back again soon.”

This went on for a full half-hour. Then I finally patched in. And then I got knocked off in the third with Beckett pitching out of a Mike Lowell-induced jam. Now I’m back on…but it sounds like I’m listening through snowstorm of feedback.


* Yeah, I’m glad John Kerry made some noise about the whole issue, too. But think about this: cable subscribers around the country are relying on a man who referred to the two best hitters on his own team with the Frankensteinian moniker “Manny Ortez.”

Post Categories: DirecTV & Joe Nocera & Major League Baseball & Manny Ortez