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"Sports Blackouts"

[written November 10, 2001]

We just got satellite through Dish Network a little while ago and I purchased the FOX sports package, which includes all the FOX regional channels.

Being an NBA nut, I was psyched to be able to view any NBA game I wanted each night, assuming it was on that region's sports channel.

As it turns out, when I select most all NBA games outside my area, I get a nice convenient message saying, "Event blacked out in your area" or something to that effect. What the HELL!

I checked the blackout regulations for the NBA and as far as I can tell, there's nothing that says I shouldn't be able to watch games involving teams that are not in my regional area. For instance, if the LA Lakers were playing the New Jersey Nets, I should be able to watch in Dallas.

What, am I gonna fucking GO to the game and deprive the NBA of revenue or something? I thought the whole idea of blackouts was to stop potential ticket buyers from just staying home to watch the local game, and to preserve market rights to those TV channels who deserve them.

Evidently not. Somehow, the NBA and FOX Sports see it in my best interest to not allow me to watch two teams nowhere near me geographically, because maybe somehow I might ENJOY partaking in their entertainment medium. God forbid I, as a basketball fan, might actually WATCH a game.

Complaining about lower attendance and fewer people watching? How about making it EASIER for fans to watch your fucking games, you nitwits?

See, this is the problem with companies today. It's why I'm totally alienated from all companies. They treat you like shit, and then throw up an ad campaign that insults your intelligence by acting like they're the best thing since Hitler shooting himself in the head. And then their product doesn't work and you call them about it, and they tell you they can't help you, or they make you do some newbie shit that you know from the start won't help. They treat you like shit, but their billing department is a smooth-sailing operation unless of course you're trying to get credited for something. The way businesses have to be set up these days, if you know ANYTHING at all, you probably know more than the person you get on tech support. And that's a glaring fault. You're not talking to experts, you're talking to people who are paid to go through procedures that they can't deviate from. And if they don't find out what's wrong, often they'll tell you there's nothing that can be done, even though you know a technician could do it if he just knew about it.

I read this long article in Red Herring about how David Stern, NBA commissioner, is going to try to turn the Internet into a huge power play for the NBA. He says nba.com will feature video rebroadcasts, interactive stats, all sorts of shit that he thinks will earn him a pile of dough for. Well, I'm already thinking, fat chance of that working. Currently nba.com is a slow, out-of-date static site that offers $50 jerseys (ooh, could I touch the hem of your garment?) for only some teams and only SOME players. Oh, you could get the jersey of your favorite obscure player, but guess what? You have to pay a measely $150 for it!!!!!

It just makes me sick to see those suited execs come down and take credit for shit like the Diamondbacks winning. Colangelo, just go away and hide and let your fucking team take the credit. You're all a bunch of hoarding crooks and the fan is always the one getting the shaft.

Now I'm stuck with what seems to be a useless $5/month FOX sports package that Dish Network says it can do nothing about blackouts for, and in order for me to remove the FOX sports package, I have to pay another $5 for the deactivation fee. Thanks for the option, bitches. I really need to make sure I can watch the same sports news show and The Worst Damn Sports Show, Period on 10 different regional channels. Ooh I think I'll watch Bluetorch on FOX Ohio tonight instead of Fox West!!

Fume fume fume. All I want to watch is people play basketball. At least Dallas Mavs games are all on TV, and TNT/TBS has games 3 nights a week. A small consolation for a business that could be run MUCH better by someone with any vision. How about getting Cuban in there?


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