Tonight, the Bears take on the San Francisco 49ers. Even though my cable bill is about $140 a month for T.V., phone & internet, I won't be able to see the game. You see, I have Time Warner Cable.
Time Warner Cable & The NFL Network have been fighting over the cost & availability of the NFL Network since 2006.
Time Warner claims that the NFL Network wants them to charge subscribers an extra $0.61 per month to carry the channel on their digital basic programming. Apparently they are unwilling to do this, since the demand for the NFL Network is seasonal. How nice! Time Warner is looking out for my best interests for a change! The selfless souls at Time Warner refused this offer; however, they would allow the NFL Network to be carried on their Digital Sports Tier, for which I believe they charge an additional $9.99 a month (I tried to get the exact price off Time Warner's website, but an error occurred when I attempted this!). The NFL isn't so sure people would pay an extra $120 per year for their network & a bunch of soccer channels, so they refused.
Full disclosure: my soul burns with a fiery hate for Time Warner Cable . They charge a ridiculous amount of money for very little programming & their tech support and overall quality are abysmal. A couple years back, I waited nearly two weeks to have my services reconnected because, unbeknownst to me, some asshole unplugged my cable line from the box in the alley behind my apartment building. Time Warner claimed they sent somebody to check out the connection to my building, and they couldn't find anything wrong. Taking them at their word, I tried to get a technician sent to service the cable in my apartment, but they were "booked solid." It was only when I told them I wanted my service canceled and a refund given that they finally sent a surly Russian guy to fix the problem. It took Viktor all of 45 seconds to remedy the problem. I got a $60 refund, missed a day of work, and might have gotten herpes from the payphone on Alvarado Street that I used to call them. If I had any other options for high speed internet in my area, I would drop these fucking clowns in a second and get DirecTV.
However, as much as it pains me to say this, I can't put all the blame on Time Warner. I love the NFL, but I have no use for their network outside of the 8 regular season games they have the exclusive rights to. Am I really going to watch a 3 hour long "classic" game once pitchers & catchers report? Or listen to their 3rd rate commentators talking about next week's matchups? Fuck no; I have two ESPN channels for that shit. And they're right; I wouldn't pay an extra $10 a month for the Time Warner sports tier when I'd only use it a couple times per season. But isn't their main objective to get as many viewers as possible so they can charge more for advertising? Morons.
At $0.61 cents per month for the NFL Network, I'd end up paying Time Warner a whopping $7.32 extra per year for the NFL Network. Shit, I'd gladly pay $5 just to watch the Bears game! And I'm sure I'd be willing to shell out the remaining $2.32 over the course of the remaining 7 games. Why don't they make the games pay per view? Aside from the Bears vs. the 49ers, I'd probably purchase their exclusive Thanksgiving game just to alleviate boredom of that wretched holiday.
Once a cheaper high-speed internet option becomes available in my area, I'm dropping Time Warner Cable. The $7.32 per customer every year they'd be paying the NFL Network is nothing compared to the $1600+ they currently get from me yearly. But I'm not letting the NFL off the hook. This league makes a shit-ton of money and can afford to give away their network that's useless 357 days out of the year. Until this shit is settled, I'm going to attempt to find a pirate website that streams the NFL Network games, thus screwing mega-corporations out of my money.
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