October 6, 2007
Usually when discussing college football coverage my first complaint is about the announcers. I don’t do enough complaining about the games they select to put on TV for my region.
Today the Penn State/Iowa game is on ESPN2. At least that’s what I thought. After the Miami/UNC game ended it came on. I saw all of two plays when the picture suddenly froze. I quickly switched to the SD version of ESPN2 only to find NC St/FSU. I haven’t had Verizon long enough to trust that they aren’t going to screw up this sort of thing. I called up and the guy was very helpful. He had all the coverage maps and blackout lists handy. When he reset my box I flipped through the channels and found the game on ABC. I had never thought to check there since all I’d seen advertised was ESPN2 and I saw the game on ESPN2 before it vanished.
I found the game, but I still wasn’t happy. It wasn’t in HD! I know it was produced in HD somewhere, I saw it on ESPN2HD. This is what I don’t understand. There is no reason that this game wasn’t in HD on ABC. If they can’t handle it then don’t move it from ESPN2. If you are that excited to watch PSU/Iowa, you likely are someone who gets ESPN and ESPN2. Are there a lot of OTA people clamoring for this game?
This also took the Texas/Okalhoma game off of my schedule. A game that I would certainly like the option of watching. The game that was showing on ESPN2, NC St/FSU I couldn’t watch in HD because ESPN2HD was blacked out for no particular reason.
I don’t have ESPN Gameplan. There aren’t enough games that I need to watch to justify the price. I’d like to be able to see some of those games. If it only cost $50, then I’d be on board. On occasion one of these games might be picked up by one of our local channels. This week the selection was CMU/Ball St. I didn’t spend much time watching that matchup.
I am a big fan of the Fox College Sports channels that I get part of the Verizon Sports Pack. They are really the only channels worth mentioning in that package. These channels give me the good Pac10 and Big 12 games that aren’t picked up by ABC/ESPN. Last week I was able to watch Colorado beat Oklahoma. Today included Kansas/Kansas State (which Comcast Sportsnet was showing) and Arizona State/Washington State.
As far as college football is concerned the biggest difference between Comcast and Verizon is having CSTV on Comcast and ESPNU and ESPN Classic on Verizon. There would occasionally be a good game on CSTV, usually from a mid-major. I’d much rather have the ESPNU/ESPN Classic combination. ESPNU always has some major conference teams and Classic has good matchups on occasion. This week Classic went with an American Gladiators marathon instead of any games. You can’t argue too much with that decision.
What’s missing from all this is the Big Ten Network. I’d love to have this channel. Of course that means the main channel plus the extra channels when there are multiple games on. There have already been three PSU games on BTN this season. I still have to side with the providers in not carrying this channel. There is no reason for the vast majority of subscribers to have to pay for this channel. I’d gladly pay extra, so BTN should let me have that option.
See, I’m laying off the announcers today. You could say I’m growing as a person. You could also say I am saving my announcer rage for tonight when I have to endure another game with Joe Simpson doing the color for the Phillies/Rockies game. Other than him, and a few other issues, TBS’s coverage has been way better than ESPN or Fox have been for the playoffs over the past few years. Now if I only had TBS in HD.