No Football?

Here’s a rant… can we find some way to make it illegal to put EVERY football game on cable?  Honestly, what is New Year’s Day without the Rose Bowl?  And yet, here we are, in the middle of Iowa, carrying only regular digital TV (which doesn’t work half the time, thank-you-very-much-congress-you-pack-of-rabid-money-grubbing-morons), and they do this whole two-hour lead up show to the Rose Bowl game, and then…

“Ok, we’ll see you over on ESPN for the actual game!!”


Oh, we have a pissed-off household here today.

I’ve missed several Bears Games, because we’re not a “home market”, and because Monday Night Football has been relocated to some cable network.

We haven’t even been able to watch some University of Iowa games because they put them on cable.  It’s getting to the point that if you want to watch anything besides stupid court shows (seriously, how many judges need to be on TV?), you have to have cable.

And the kicker?  We can’t get cable out here!  The only thing we can get is satellite, and you need a dish for that.  And dishes are susceptible to winds – especially the kind of winds that we get here.  We’re regularly buffered by 30+ mph winds.  I don’t know how long a dish can hold up against that, but I’ve heard tons of complaints that the wind is deadly on satellite reception.

It all almost makes me want to quote Barack Obama, and ask, “when have you made enough money?”

Just writing that sentence caused me to break out in massive hives so large I can barely type.

But, seriously… that IS the whole reason behind all this, isn’t it?  The NFL, BCS, or whomever, want more money, and there isn’t enough to be made on regular TV, so they take it to cable.  Well, how about this?  Some of us don’t have cable.  And some games are a tradition, like the Rose Bowl.

So how about maximizing your profits, and showing it in both places?  Show it on ESPN AND on regular TV.  Of course, ESPN will never allow that, because they think that people will just watch the free version instead.  But that’s not true.  If people have cable, they’re going to watch cable.  Why would they toss ESPN over for free coverage, unless ESPN’s coverage sucks?  In which case, shouldn’t ESPN lose the viewers anyway?

AARGH!   The biggest thing I fear is that, pretty soon, we’re going to HAVE to get cable TV.  We’re not really a TV-watching household.  I religiously watch two shows a week, and that’s a back-to-back run of the Red Green Show on PBS on Saturday Nights.  And I regularly fall asleep during the second episode, because they insist on showing it after 10:00 at night, and I turn into a pumpkin at ten.  But, pretty soon, the NFL is going to totally prostitute itself, and give itself entirely over to cable TV, and then, in order to see any football at ALL, we’re going to have to pay for TV.  Which is just obscene.  Paying for TV.

I can’t even believe I’m on this rant, either, because I can remember back when I was in, I don’t know, sixth grade? (watch me date myself here…) MTV had just hit the airwaves. Videos set to music!  It was like watching your favorite songs come to life!  Oh, how I begged my parents to get cable.  Begged and pleaded, and begged some more.  They told me, “if you have time to watch TV, you have time to be outside playing.”  Well, fine.  But guess who has Cable TV now?  All 285+ channels of it?  Mom and Dad, that’s who.  And who is now complaining about how expensive and ridiculous it is?  Me.  Ironic, ain’t it? (and do there really need to be thousands of cable channels?  I was surfing at my in-laws and counted like 20 shopping channels alone!  Who needs 20 shopping channels? Who would PAY for a shopping channel? My parents. The ones who wouldn’t get MTV for me when I was in sixth grade because it was too expensive…)

Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  A football-less New Year’s Day.  It’s a travesty. Rose Bowl, most of the bowl games, NFL – these should ALL be on network TV.

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12 Responses to No Football?

  1. Joy says:

    I’m not a big TV watcher either. I’m really not. I like “shows” but won’t search but I sure do know what you mean. There is so much crap on TV. I don’t know how people can watch some of it. I know in this house, when channel surfing starts, I zone WAY out. I hate it so much. Remember when we had to get up to change channels??? I like it back then because I was the only one willing to get up to switch them.

    When we moved out here (to the sticks, middle of nowhere) there was no cable here. I’m sure there still isn’t. When I called to find out they told me they’d lay the lines if everyone would get it but we didn’t know anyone to go door to door and I’m sure everyone would have thought us nuts so we tried putting up with the TV. We coudn’t watch our favorite WCCO anymore. It was pure snow on the screen so we switched around to whatever came in at the time. Lo and behold, on Thurs night the Vikings played the Packers and Paul and Toby took the plunge and went and got Direct TV. We’ve had it ever since. I think it’s been roughly 13 years.

    Sometimes I feel like I gave in but I was only cutting off my nose to spite my face. I wasn’t hurting anyone by not getting one but this was back before the Internet and without TV, what in God’s name would I have done stuck out here like I was. I didn’t know anyone yet then so I appreciated getting my TV back.

    I don’t think it should be legal if it’s “your” team to be put somewhere that not everyone can see it. That seems so unfair. Our Gophers are on channels some of us can’t get either. Even with cable, my mom can’t get that channel so she’s in your boat.

    I don’t know what to tell you anymore. I don’t know why they changed the TV’s to the digital and all that. I don’t get it. I don’t know why they can’t leave stuff like this alone. The name of your post caught my eye because it was football that made Paul get our dish. He could have cared less about anything else but heaven forbid we should miss the Vikings.

  2. SKL says:

    Wow! Well, I am not sure what my position would be on all that, because although I like football, I haven’t had time to watch it in years. Sometimes I catch part of the Super Bowl, and that’s pretty much it. So I really don’t have much connection with my TV any more; I just use the screen for DVD watching.

    But one thing that I wonder about – will this kind of move actually hurt the pro sports industry? At some point, if it’s that hard to access it, the fun no longer outweighs the trouble. And if you stop watching, you’re going to stop buying the merchandise, and ratings will go down along with advertising revenues, and even stadium tickets won’t be as much of a thrill. There are a lot of people who don’t have cable, so this could make a real difference. Then would they switch back, or would it be too late? I don’t know.

    I think, though, that you can get football games on the internet. Have you ever looked into that? Would that solve your dilemma?

    • Laura says:

      Unfortunately, I think there are enough people who consider football to be their life’s blood that they will do whatever it takes to see the games. Consider the price of regular season tickets – across the league, they range from around $25 up to $239 PER ticket!! (Except the Vikings. Their lowest price ticket is $15. Good for them). Add to that the price of parking, food, and whatever souvenirs you may or may not want, and you’re spending a lot of money. And that’s only one person.

      So I get that people want to see it on TV. *I* want to see the games on TV. Unfortunately, I don’t think people will boycott cable for it. They’ll just go ahead and buy cable, and consider it part of their living expense.

    • Joy says:

      Look at us. We’re a perfect example. Paul had season tickets since the Vikes were the Vikes. We had season tickets until we moved out here in 95. It was just too far to drive for every game. They were $100 a Sunday for 2 tickets. In 95. That didn’t include food, drink, parking or anything extra. We moved out here and couldn’t get a game and bought a dish just for football.

      It’s crazy I tell ya.

  3. Laura says:

    Since I wrote this rant, what, three days ago? My wonderful, amazing, goofy nephew sent me this link: You can watch a WHOLE bunch of stuff there, including TONS of sports… football (watched the Bears on Sunday!), basketball, hockey, soccer out of Europe! And tonight, I just noticed that they have some TV shows on there, too… I’m loading “The Office” right now. I’ve never seen that show, but figured I’d load it and see if it works.

    Score one for me. Laura 1, Greedy Cable Guys 0. HAH.

    • Joy says:

      You know that really isn’t the point though right? What about people, like my mom, who don’t have a computer? I think it’s wrong for this to happen whether or not they’re on somewhere else. I feel they should at least be shown in your viewing area.

      • Laura says:

        I agree… at least the college games. We’re not a “home market” for any specific pro team. We’ve got a pretty good mix between Vikings, Packers, Bears and Chiefs, depending upon where you live in the state, so if the TV stations suddenly declared only one of those teams to be a “Home Team” for us, 75% of the state would be ticked off, because it’s not THEIR team that got “home market” consideration.

        This is on the NFL. They’re the ones who started it when they took Monday Night Football off of network TV. And plenty of people complained, but nobody did anything about it. Well, they did – they went out and got cable. Or added ESPN/NFL network to their lineup.

  4. shanef says:

    Well money is the root of all evil. People just can’t get enough, just look at the greedy morons running this country. I’ve been saying the same thing for years, it won’t be long before the Superbowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, etc. etc. are all on cable.
    My biggest complaint about cable is that you have to buy channel packages, and the most popular channels are in the most expensive package. Why the hell can’t they make it A la carte? Why should you have to pay for 300 channels, when you only watch 10 channels. Also they should reimburse you everytime the cable or dish goes out. We have Direct tv- pretty good in the winter but it goes out ALL THE TIME in the summer.
    I just counted all are channels. 252 channels and I only watch about 10-15 channels.
    That’s not including all the pay per veiw and home shopping channels.
    Discovery health is one of my favorites, or should I saw was. They turned it into OWN the Oprah Whinfrey Network- I guess she wasn’t making enough $$$ on regular tv, she needs her OWN channel on cable. What I don’t understand is why get rid of a great channel like Discovery Health. They could of got rid of one of the shopping channels.
    That’s why I got rid of my cell phone plan and went with a pay as you go plan. “no package deals, or long term contracts”

    • Laura says:

      I agree with you Shane… but nothing is going to change unless people, en masse, stand up and say, “no more”. But that’s not going to happen.

      Look at the whole brouhaha with the TSA around Thanksgiving. They had this “refuse the scanner” day all planned for the Wed before Thanksgiving – the heaviest traveled day of the year. Everyone was supposed to “Opt Out” of being scanned, and get the pat-down instead. And millions of people jumped on the bandwagon, complaining loudly about TSA and how they violate our rights twice every inspection. But when it came right down to it, nobody did it, because it would mean that their travel would be interrupted. It was ok for everybody else to protest, but not for them.

      I hear it all the time… “Cable should be a la carte” “Cable is too expensive” “there’s only crap on”. But nobody cancels their service, do they? Nobody will take that step and go without their 20 shopping channels. Until people stand up and make it hurt the Cable companies in the only place it hurts – their bottom line – it’s not going to make a single bit of difference.

  5. Nikki says:

    Unfortunately this will never change, and I’m afraid it’ll probably get worse. I started out with DishNetwork and they dropped our VERY favorite show and the Twins games from FX and FOX Sports because they couldn’t afford what they were charging them now. So, us, being huge fans and unwilling to go without seeing this show or the Twins, we switched over to cable. My first initial price of what I was going to pay was $130 to bundle cable, phone and internet. GREAT!! That was saving me tons of money. Oh, but no! Just to have the sports package, and the cartoon channels (that we don’t really need) was another $15, plus O.M.G. an extra $7 just for voicemail! I thought that came standard! Okay, off subject. Sorry. After $5 for this, $10 for this , etc. we are now paying close to $180 a month for all 3 services, which is still cheaper than before but not what I expected. Just to have certain sports and cartoon channels, I have to have stupid channels I would never watch! I LOVE the a al carte idea. But with people, sad to say, like us, they rope us in, tie us up and take our money. And we allow it. WE do anyway. We do watch a good amount of TV in the evenings during the cold months. Bailey loves his Monster Quest and Ghost Hunters, and I know none of it is necessary but we do buy it.

    Two summers ago, we got rid of Dish/Cable all together, for the summer. It saved us money and we were never home anyway. I don’t have a contract with my cable company and I may do that again. At least drop cable from the services. It has become outrageous. And I know full well, if we weren’t able to get the Vikings or Twins games, we’d do whatever we had to do to get it…case in point, we switched companies because of it!

  6. Sue says:

    We have DirecTV and I hate them for what they did to me as a customer a couple of years ago. And I swore that I would be switching as soon as the stupid contract was up. Guess what? We haven’t switched. We haven’t switched for a few reasons and it all comes back to DirecTV having us by the pants. The other dish people don’t offer the channels we already have in one package for a better price. Cable is available out here now, but they too don’t offer the channels we like in one package for a better price so that doesn’t do us much good.

    I do think it’s ridiculous how some games are on cable and some are not. It is all about money. Laura, I would like to see you take us this issue with your congressperson and see what their response is. You seem like a person that could persuade others to at least hear what you’re saying, if not get them to do something about it 🙂

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