So here we are. It's 40 degrees and windy outside, so we're all hunkered down in the house. D-Jo just came back from the hospital with the new baby, so I'm with Zosia in her playroom, and I figured that since it's the first Sunday afternoon of the baseball season, I'd like to watch a game.
I switched from DirecTV to cable last year because the cable system (Comcast) had a lot more HD channels, and since I bought a nice, big HDTV as a present for selling my website, it made sense. I've had the Extra Innings package on DirecTV for the last few years, and expected that when the season started I'd buy it on Comcast.
Then of course came all the recent unpleasantness with MLB attempting to give DirecTV an exclusive on the Extra Innings package, and Congress getting involved, and MLB extending the offer to Dish and cable, and then at the 11th hour (actually at the 13th hour, since it happened after Opening Day) cable coming through and matching the deal.
So I signed up, but didn't get a chance to watch any games until today, what with the new baby being born and all. I turned on the schedule channel, and this is what I saw:
Channel Match-Up Time
GAME 10 Baltimore vs. NY Yankees 1:05
GAME 9 NY Mets vs. Atlanta 1:05
GAME 8 Philadelphia vs. Florida 1:05
GAME 7 Seattle vs. Cleveland PPD/Snow
GAME 6 Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati 1:15
GAME 5 Arizona vs. Washington 1:35
GAME 4 Toronto vs. Tampa Bay 1:40
GAME 14 Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee 2:05
GAME 13 Minnesota vs. Chicago White Sox 2:05
GAME 12 St. Louis vs. Houston 2:05
GAME 11 Detroit vs. Kansas City See note
GAME 10 LA Dodgers vs. San Francisco 4:05
And here's where the fun begins. There were, originally, 11 early games. One was cancelled due to weather, leaving 10 games for me to theoretically watch. However, my channel guide only goes up to the GAME 10 channel. I called Comcast customer service, because the game I wanted to watch was on GAME 14, and asked where I could find that game.
The first CSR told me that the channels started back over at 1 after 10.
Me: "So the GAME 14 game will be on the same channel as the GAME 4 game?"
I figured I would just call back and try to get another CSR, since I wasn't up for explaining that those two games started less than a half-hour apart, so I was pretty sure the Toronto/Tampa game wouldn't be over before the Cubs game started.
The second CSR didn't know what I was talking about, but as soon as I mentioned that I could just switch to DirecTV I got transferred to a retention CSR right away. After a few minutes, he told me that the Game 11-14 channels weren't going to be added to the Comcast channel limeup until tomorrow.
So, out of 10 possible games, four were unavailable thanks to Comcast. That left six games to watch, right? Well, no. I live in Harrisburg PA, an area that MLB has decreed has four "home" teams: the Pirates, the Phillies, the Orioles, and the Nationals. That means the games from all four of those teams are blacked out here, even when they aren't on other channels. Today, only the Phillies game was on another channel.
So, out of 6 possible games, four were unavailable on Extra Innings due to Major League Baseball. That left two games, one of which (Mets/Braves) was available on TBS.
That left a grand total of one out-of-market game available to me on this, the first Sunday afternoon of the baseball season. Not exactly the sort of all-access viewing we've been promised, that's for sure.
Maybe the GAME 11-14 channels will show up tomorrow (though I'm not holding my breath). Maybe Major League Baseball will change the archaic and ridiculous blackout rules (even less likely). Until then, all I can do is write nasty emails, bitch, moan, and watch the Blue Jays beat the Devil Rays.
Labels: baseball, comcast, tv