A View from Section 139

What’s on TV tonight?

I could not wait for winter to be over, March-Madness to end, celebrate another birthday and for the first pitch or regular season baseball!  I knew at the end of  March, the wonderful days of baseball would begin. What a great pleasure to be able to sit back after work and enjoy any game on the schedule, the Yankees, White Sox, Twins, The Angels and of course, my team, those Oakland Athletics. Game time – 7:05 pm Pacific. Plenty of time to have dinner, get my reading and writing done before the game starts. At game time, I sat down, got the remote…….. could not find the game anywhere on the schedule! OK, here is where the horror began. A’s games are shown locally on Fox Sports Bay Area and on  the independent channel – KICU. But guess what, that channel is not available on our satellite system. When I called to find out from the provider, the story goes, “You like outside the local viewing area”. What does that mean I ask? You are still  too close to the viewing area, but not far enough away to get the channel in your area. 

I thought that once I signed up with the satellite provider and paid my bill every month, I would be able to get all the channels that I wanted. No such luck. So what is the alternative? Sign up for MLB.TV. Of course, then we will be able to watch every single baseball game on the schedule. No, can’t do that either…. You see, because we live in an area that is outside of the viewing area but still too close, we are blacked-out. We cannot watch the local teams on MLB.TV either. Therefore, what do you do?Of course, you buy the “Extra Innings Package from the satellite company. At $169.99 for the season, no refunds, we thought we would be able to see all the games. Wrong again. So now we have the online package, satellite package and still no games. 

I know that this does not affect the majority of television-watchers. Many people never heard of this, thought of this, don’t care. Just imagine the Yankee Fan and the big game is on this weekend with the hated Red Sox from the North. The new Japanese pitching sensation is making his first appearance in the “War of the AL West: You want to watch the games, but you can’t because “You Live outside the viewing area, but still too close not to avoid the blackout”. During March madness, CBS Sports allowed us to watch the games online for F-R-E-E. Imagine that. We buy these online sports packages, because we are at work, just not able to be at home when the games are being broadcast and would like to see what is going on with our favorite team. OK so you say, record it and then watch later. No, I say, it’s just not the same. Everywhere you look online, the results are flashing across your screen. Everyone else knows the results and wants to make sure you know it too. No way to avoid knowing the outcome. 

Why shouldn’t we be able to see the games? You have already paid for the package and there is no way to get your money back. It’s not like this is free, we don’t get to see the commercials anyway. So what is the point???? If all of that was not frustrating enough, then there is the phenomenon of the Distant Networks. Check out my next posting.


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