Friday, February 06, 2009

Changing Channels Not An Option In Canada

After my last post it has lead me to make a comment on the state of TV in Canada and the US as it relates to sports. Now I have little problems with Canada’s existing sports specific channels, those being TSN (The Sports Network), Rogers Sportsnet and to a lesser extent The Score but I want more. Being a Bell Express Vu subscriber I have a respectable selection of live sporting events to choose from. Now that TSN has come out with TSN 2 allowing for both the ability to show 2 live sporting events at the same time (in the winter usually either 2 hockey games or a hockey game and an NBA game or perhaps tennis, maybe even curling) nationally as well the ability for time shifting showing programming on a 3 hour delay to allow you to watch the complete games of both matches if you so choose or if you missed the original broadcast...a nice option o have. Sportsnet does well with regional hockey but shows far less live games as it used to when it held the rights to broadcast NBA games but makes up for that with most Jays games during baseball season.

Now where I have an issue again is with the CRTC and the fact that there is no way that I can get everything that I want. Sure I could pay in excess of $100 for different packages covering sports like NHL Center Ice, NFL Sunday Ticket, NASCAR Hotpass, MLB Extra Innings or the NCAA package but that adds up pretty quick and there is a lot of overlap of crappy games that I wouldn’t want anyway. No, what I want is more choice, more options and most of all more variety. I guess in an effort to preserve Canadian content there is no way to legally get the programming that I want and what I want shouldn’t be that tough to get. Give me the option of having ESPN(s), some of the Fox SportsNet channels, NESN, Versus, YES Network TNT among others. As a fan of watching volleyball I would like to have the option of watching some matches. NBC will show 1 match a week of the AVP tour but the rest of the tournament is not shown, nor are any NCAA indoor games. I understand why Canadian programming doesn’t pick up these games as it is a very niche market but if the games are being televised I would like to have the option to watch them. I don’t need it on a Pay Per View basis just let me purchase the entire channel as I would if it were a specialty channel in Canada. If it comes to a case of matching the numbers in a total package of Canadian to US programming so be it, I may be willing to taking on some crappy Canadian channels in order to keep the ratio where it needs to be. All I am asking for is the ability to choose, ability to watch what I want , and ability to get some different perspectives. The only channels made available in Canada show nothing but crap. They try to fool people with ESPN Classic Canada, but not ESPN Classics so we get Classic CFL games (if there is more of an oxymoron title i’d like to hear it) Matches on Fox Sports World shows Footy (soccer), rugby, Aussie rules football and things of that nature....not entertaining and a weak effort to show “World Sports”.

I want Wednesday Night Baseball in the summer, weekly NBA games, Volleyball games. It is being broadcast, I don’t think it too much to ask that I have a chance to enjoy it, whether I live in Canada or the USA.

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