Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Wanna Get Nuts... Let's Get Nuts!

One of my favorite quotes of all time. But we're not putting this in the 'favorite quotes' column, we're putting it in the 'fighting losing battles' column.

As some of you may recall, on Tuesday I printed the email that I wrote to Rogers Sportsnet about them not broadcasting the MLB playoff game from Monday night. There were a couple of comments wanting to know what Sportsnet's response was. Well, I found out today what their response was. And I don't think I'm crossing any legal boundaries by sharing it with you.

To refresh your memory, this is originally what I wrote to Sportsnet:

"I have a question for you, does Sportsnet have sole rights to broadcasting the first round of the MLB playoffs in Canada? If the answer is yes, next time could you actually broadcast the games? As someone who gets Sporstnet West I was unable to watch Cleveland eliminate the Yankees last night. Was the baseball game shown on SN East or Ontario? I realize that baseball is not as popular as hockey in this country but I think an MLB playoff game, especially a potential elimination game, would be more important than the Oilers 3rd game of 82. I can assure you that it was a very frustrating situation - I felt like a hockey fan in the U.S trying to find a game."

And today I received this response from them:

"Thanks for your recent e-mail. We certainly appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately, viewers with one Sportsnet channel watching hockey could not see the baseball playoffs. However, viewers with all Sportsnet channels had a choice between hockey and the playoffs.

Our apologies for any inconvenience that this may have caused."

I believe that's what they call an non-apology apology. Undaunted, I wrote back again this morning with this to say:

"While I appreciate that Sportsnet has to fulfill their obligation to the Edmonton Oilers, why was the baseball game not shown upon the conclusion of the hockey game? The Edmonton/Detroit game ended before the Indians/Yankees game was finished. So instead of the last 3 innings of the baseball game we got a re-run of the Best Damn Sports Show. And even if it was not possible to switch over to the baseball feed immediately after the hockey game ended, why was the game not shown on a tape-delay later in the night?"

This was the reply I received to that email:

"Viewers with all Sportsnet channels could watch both hockey and baseball in their entirety. However, due to programming commitments, we could not join the baseball game in progress after hockey.

Our apologies that we cannot assist you further."

Clearly my feedback was welcomed by Sportsnet. If you actually squint hard enough between the lines you can see where they say, "It's your fault you couldn't see the game because you don't buy all our channels - now please stop bothering us, we have to get back to professionally messing up Jim Lang's hair."

I'm now on a quest to find out how this baseball game slipped through the cracks. To quote Frank Costanza, "I feel reborn, like a phoenix rising from Arizona!" So I decided to email Major League Baseball this afternoon, just to see if they would have any response to this situation. Here's what I wrote:

"I am a resident of Western Canada. As such, it turns out that I was not able to watch Game 4 of the Indians/Yankees. Not because I do not subscribe to Rogers Sportsnet - I do. I have emailed Sportsnet over the past few days expressing my amazement. Their reply was basically that it was my fault I could not see the game because I do not subscribe to all of their channels. I think that those who have the rights to broadcast these playoff games should actually put them on the air."

Bear in mind that the MLB website has a 500 character limit on their feedback forum, so it's incredibly hard to make a point in that limited space. But I did my best.

So we'll see how all of this turns out...I'm guessing with a corporate form-letter of some sort.

I'll tell you this though - this experience does not make me want to subscribe to all the Sportsnet channels just so I don't miss anything in the future. Quite the opposite actually.

And might I add - we want ESPN.


trebor said...

Great work, that's why I keep coming back to this site.

I actually would have enjoyed watching the elimination game, oilers game yeah..right now who cares. The alternate feed thing is certainly annoying, usually happening with TSN when they cut to there opening coverage of the chrysler south pacific tour, what ever names the golf circuit has.

I'm interested to see how far you are going to go with this.

Anonymous said...

To be 100% honest guys I would bet that more people in Alberta and Saskatchewan wanted to see the Oilers game then a baseball game. Yes is was a play off game and yes an elimaination game. If you want to watch Baseball instead of hockey get Satilite TV or move to the good old U.S.A. This is Canada and hockey is king it doesn't matter if it's preseason, regular season or playoffs.