The NFL has their own channel, the NFL Network. They are in a fight with cable companies around the US trying to get them to include their channel on the basic packages, yet they also want to make it the fifth most expensive channel. They claim people like Comcast put their own channels on the basic packages (I think the Golf Channel falls in this bucket) so the cable companies are being unfair to resist. Instead, the cable companies want to put it in their sports packages, premium packages or sell it al-la-carte. The NFL won’t allow them to do that. So, only 38% of the cable subscribers get the NFL Network. What’s ironic: Time Warner which refuses to carry the channel, is the provider in New York city… where the NFL is headquartered… which means the NFL employees in the home office can’t see the game. This doesn’t affect people like me who don’t have cable but rather satellite as both Dish Network & DirecTV carry the channel. I can’t live without my DirecTV (I *must* have my Sunday Ticket + SuperFan!).
Last night the NFL upped the ante. It put what could be argued as one of the best two games to date this season (GB @ DAL, the other being NE @ INDY a few weeks ago) on their channel meaning most of the country had to head to a friend’s house or a local bar that had satellite.
To who’s right and who’s wrong? Most people seem to complain that it’s the cable companies. However, it is those people who don’t see the real problem because they can’t see the game. If you got to see the game, you would see that it is really the NFL at fault. Why? Because their production quality is HORRIBLE. I’ve never watched a more poorly produced event/show/game in my life than the games I’ve watched on the NFL network going back to last year. I gave them a flyer on the first year… newbies and they would learn. But oh no… this year it is just as bad. The volume of the commentary is the same as the crowd noise which makes it hard to hear what they are saying. But, this is really a blessing in disguise as the play-by-play of Bryant Gumble is atrocious. Farve throws a deep ball to Driver who’s double covered in the first quarter and as the ball is in the air Gumble says “he’s got Driver open!”. Uh… no he doesn’t… no where near open… and the color guy, Chris Collinsworth, knows this as the very next line is CC saying “that was pretty good coverage… I’m surprised he threw that.” No kidding… I was too! Couple that with the audio of Dieon on the sideline… arg… it’s horrible.
Don’t get me wrong… the NFL network should be on basic cable if the Golf Channel is. But, it damn sure isn’t anywhere near a top 10 if not top 20 in terms of the most expensive channels. Get your head out of your arses NFL brass… how can you demand top dollar for a shoddy product!?!?!
From here on out, I’ll continue to watch the games, but I damn sure will have it muted.