Friday, April 3, 2009

The Saga Continues...

In my inbox this morning I received a press release from TSN. This isn't an unusual thing as they normally send out a few of them per week and most of the time they are of little consequence to me, either telling me how great the ratings are, or that a certain game is not to be missed tonight. But this particular email contained one sentence that piqued my attention and was extremely unwelcomed:

TSN2 is home to exclusive NHL playoff action in April.

Those 10 words have the potential to change my life.

This is news I've been dreading for months. Ever since TSN2 began broadcasting last August they have been in a constant state of bicker with Rogers (the largest cable company in Canada) over how to get the channel onto their lineup. With no agreement having been made up to this point I have missed out on countless number of NBA, NHL, golf, tennis and other sporting events - all this, despite paying for the Super Sports Pack which allegedly gives you access to all the games (local games are blacked out and since technically TSN2 is a local channel, those are games I miss.) I have called Rogers to complain on several locations and even been given a quite substantial refund on my money, but this is of little consolation since the games are still being missed.

I've been wondering for a little while now what TSN would do come playoff time. Would they deprive their Rogers viewers of an entire Stanley Cup Playoff series and put some games on TSN2? Last year, before the channel was introduced, if TSN had rights to two games in one night they would put the elite matchup on their flagship station and relegate the other game to its' digital alternative channel, a normally empty feed that went unused most of the week and was available for free for anyone with a digital cable box.

The news today that TSN2 will, in fact, be carrying playoff games will do one of two things...either be the final impetus needed for Rogers and TSN to strike a deal, or it will drive hundreds, if not thousands of Rogers customers to other cable companies that do have deals for TSN2 (Bell, Cogeco, Shaw, Star Choice...etc).

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who got this press release (what kind of publicity would it be if only I got it...?). Jason Kay, the Editor in Chief of The Hockey News has posted this excellent column on this very matter.

Here's an excerpt:

All season, I simmered as TSN2 and Rogers were unable to reach an agreement for the cable provider to carry the new channel. It prevented myself and thousands of other Centre Ice subscribers/Rogers customers from seeing a handful of games we thought we’d paid for, including the early-season re-match between last year's Stanley Cup finalists, Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Now comes word TSN2 will be airing post-season games – though likely none involving Canadian teams – and still no pact with Rogers is imminent....

...Admittedly, I have options. Cancel my Rogers service and switch to Bell or Star Choice, an alternative I may consider. It may be an inconvenient solution for people who also have Rogers cell phones, home phones and Internet connections, but a viable one.

I could also get a life, put this into perspective and realize in the grand scope of humanity this is less than a non-issue.

But I’m not always that big a person. Sometimes I’m quite small, I want what I want, what I believe I am due, what I’ve paid for, what the constitution or Charter of Rights ought to guarantee me. I want cable justice!

Damn right! Here's to being small and petty and getting what we want!

Here's the number to call Rogers to complain (1-888 ROGERS-1) and here's the link again to the full article (THN).

1 comment:

  1. I side with TSN on this argument. I started writing my list of grievences with Rogers, but erased it because no one who reads this will care. :)

    Fact is -- be like me. Go Star Choice and get TSN2/TSN2HD in the sports package and don't complain that Rogers is screwing you all over again.

    (FYI, you get the American commercials with Star Choice. Yes, even during the Super Bowl.)