Thursday, August 2, 2007

NFL network

Ok so it is the start of training camp for the NFL and that means preseason games, which for me are almost as exciting as regular season games. I love football and so this is very exciting to me. I know there are problems with the NFL, but I still love it. I grew up on football, literally, as my father used to have me resting on his stomach at 6 months of age and younger so that my mother could do other things on Sunday afternoons (not that this in the only time he spent with me, but this illustrates my point). This was and still is in many ways a lot of the father-son bonding we do. We do other things now as father and son, but this is still one of my favorite things with my father watching football games. So I realize that my favorite team, the Steelers, have their first preseason game this weekend and it is the Hall of Fame game. The first game is meaningless as is much of the preseason, but it is the Hall of Fame game which i always kind of cool as typically a lot of the guys who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame are interviewed and it is the first football game. And by george I want to see it, but of course I can't. The NFL has created an NFL Network so that they can make even more money off of football fans. This network has certain games that are only available on it and there is a lot of talk shows around football and well I am not sure what else this channel has especially when the season is over, but still it exists. So the Hall of Fame game is being shown on this channel and only this channel this year. The only way to get this channel was to have a satellite dish for a while, but now some of the cable companies have been buying the channel to show. But the one I use, Time Warner Cable, refuses to allow this channel to be added to their lineups. As I understand it, the NFL wants their network to be just a basic channel like ESPN or CNN or any other channel that subscribers can get. Time Warner wanted to put it on their sports package so that cable subscribers could get it if they wanted, but did not have to get the channel. The sports package is normally like four or five additional channels that cost like five dollars more a month. Now, I would pay the extra money for this channel as it is only five dollars and I am honestly that crazy of a football fan, i am not sure I would watch it all the time or anything but for the extra eight regular season games and some preseason games, i feel it would be worth my extra five dollars, but this is not an option to me. I feel like as the consumer I should have the right to choose what programming I want that is available. I am not sure who I should blame, the NFL or Time Warner Cable. The NFL should just let Time Warner do what they want and add it to the sports package although I am sure part of the issue is that the cable companies have to pay more money to add a channel if it is considered part of the extended basic package, than if it is an add on channel like HBO or any other movie channel that subscribers have to pay extra for. This would of course help the NFL to make more money and isn't money always the name of the game. But on the other hand, Time Warner Cable does not seem like the good guys either. First, they have all these other channel that are considered standard like SoapNet, the Inspirational network (or I refer to it the Christian channel), the golf channel, ShopNBC, and Fit TV that I would gladly give up if I could have the NFL network. I mean really how many people really watch the Golf Channel or SoapNet. All of the major golf tournaments are on the major channels like CBS and NBC and if you miss your Soaps because you are at work is it really that big a deal, isn't that what DVR or even if you go old school VCR tapes are for to tape shows you miss. Secondly, TWC bought Adelphia Cable which did have NFL Network and TWC took the channel off the lineup out of spite for the NFL. I guess I will just have to find a sports bar to watch the game or find another way to watch this game.


Mathman6293 said...

I'm not as a big a football fan as you but I do live and die with the Bears. But I felt a lot like you when MLB gave their package to Direct TV, pissed because I have Dish.

It seems that the major sports leagues feel like they're making enough money to be exclusive. Too, bad for any out of market fans.

Phydeaux Speaks said...

Imagine how I feel, with only a lowly antenna! Even worse, due to the topography around the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago), I cannot pick up the Fox affiliate in Greenville (less than 40 miles as the crow flies), and instead get the one from the Tri-Cities (I think it's in Kingsport - about twice as far away). Problem is, that one doesn't necessarily carry the Panther games, whereas the 'local' one always does.

Anyway, the blame should be laid squarely with the cable company - there is no reason other than greed for them to not offer a la carte channels.

Mathman6293 said...

I should say that the leagues are crazy if they think they are protecting the local markets. I will never turn on a Braves, Falcons or even the Hawks. I will suffer without my beloved teams before I convert those Chicago teams are my roots.