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Preparing for my annual Dish -Baseball blackout debate


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   obrienaj

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:13 PM

I have never won my argument, but each year I have a good "debate" with a variety of CSR's and executive office big-whigs about Dish's baseball blackout problems. I wonder if any of the folks have any more facts that I can arm myself with ? I don't expect to win, but I do have fun debating the issue.

First, rookies here should realize that first line CSR's and their low level supervisors will parrot their prepared speech that Dish has no control over baseball blackouts, they incorrectly tell you that the rules are made by MLB most are but not this rule.

My issue is they same as the past few years but a few new things have happened in the past few months that I will incorporate in to my argument.

The Issue: I live in a geographic area claimed as home territory by the Yankees, Mets, Indians, Pirates, and Blue Jays. If I subscribe to Extra Innings, games involving these teams are blacked-out. If I subscribe to the Fox Sports packages, games involving these teams, except Pirates, are also blacked out. Dish thinks for some odd reason that Buffalo, NY, area people should get Fox Sports Pittsburgh. Local cable and Direct TV give people MSG and Fox Sports NY, not Pittsburgh

On the Fox Sports website, when I enter my zip code, they tell me that MSG is my sports channel. Dish disagrees and want me to pay extra for it (they gave it to me for free for 3 months because I was a pain)

Therefore, my neighbors with cable or Direct TV get baseball teams considered as in-market teams that Dish says are not in-market. The general wisdom of this group in previous years is that Dish has not signed a contract with Fox (or maybe baseball ) that gives them the right to sell baseball games on MSG /Fox NY to Buffalo area residents. A Buffalo newspaper also mentioned this 4 years ago and identified a DISH spokesperson that confessed that they had not signed a contract.

So has anything else changed this year? I'm going to make my annual call and simply try the argument of ...why Direct TV subscribers in my street GET MSG as their Fox Sports Channel but Dish subscribers do not. I'll also try the opposite argument, that if I do not get MSG/Fox Sports Ohio etc, etc, because I am not in their market , I should then get the Mets/Indians etc, etc, on Extra Innings as out of market teams.

Anyone else in this position? Maybe I need a life and should worry about more meaningful things :lol:
Andy.

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#2 OFFLINE   oblio98

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:52 PM

I was in the same position as you, living in CT, "claimed" by the Mets, Yankees & Red Sox. However, Dish only gives me Red Sox (I live in Eastern CT). Like you, even with MLB EE, I still would not get the games from the NY teams. So, I put up a new dish, a D* dish. Now I get all the baseball I need.

#3 OFFLINE   jaschier

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 10:01 PM

what's the point of calling if you already know the answer? the way i understand it, mlb signs contracts with different providers for what you qualify for, so it may in fact be different from direct or cable. if you already know this and know what you qualify for, call in to argue or have a discussion on it, i hope you don't complain about long wait times. not that your issue is important, but sounds antagonistic, just to debate something that can't really be changed. i had no choice but to wait 30 mins on hold the other day to have a hit sent to reauthorize a rec, a real legitimate need.
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#4 OFFLINE   obrienaj

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 05:53 AM

what's the point of calling if you already know the answer? the way i understand it, mlb signs contracts with different providers for what you qualify for, so it may in fact be different from direct or cable. if you already know this and know what you qualify for, call in to argue or have a discussion on it, i hope you don't complain about long wait times. not that your issue is important, but sounds antagonistic, just to debate something that can't really be changed. i had no choice but to wait 30 mins on hold the other day to have a hit sent to reauthorize a rec, a real legitimate need.



Granted...but

Unless Dish change things to allow me to access games (very unlikely) I simply want DISH CSRs to CORRECTLY tell callers that is is because DISH has chosen not to sign a contract. Most CSR , and even some in executive offices, still claim that it nothing to do with Dish. They are blantly telling customers a lie.
Andy.

#5 OFFLINE   mattsarz

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 08:49 AM

The Blue Jays do not claim any part of the U.S., despite their proximity to the western NY area. Are you being blacked out of Blue Jays game when they air on the MLB EI free preview? These games should be available to you as the Jays are out-of-market for all subscribers.

(As an aside, I used to pick up Jays games on CBLT and CFTO when I used to live north of Buffalo. Kinda amazing that the team that is closest to you doesn't claim your area but still showed their games on cable, plus you could pick them up via an antenna as they broadcast from the CN Tower).

And it does have to do with how Dish, not MLB, signs their contracts with RSNs. One example would be the FSN Ohio-Dish flap regarding Indians games where Dish only decided to pay for about half the games. People in greater Cleveland, not just outlying areas, couldn't pick up some of the games.

And someone over at DBSForums received an email from FSN Ohio about Reds coverage this year. He lives in Indiana and the Reds claim his area. He wanted to know if their games would be available via FSN Ohio on E*. He was told by FSN Ohio that they offered to cover his area when the resigned with E*, but E* declined.

#6 OFFLINE   23collector

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 09:52 AM

I had a similar issue, which I emailed Dish Network about. I also live in upstate NY and originally received MSG and FOX Sports NY and suddenly had that changed to Empire Sports, the Buffalo sports network.

When Empire Sports recently ended it's programming, I sent Dish the following email:

"I just noticed that Empire Sports has "ceased operations" and Dish Network has added FOX Sportsnet from Pittsburg in it's place.

Can I ask what the reasoning is behind this?

I live in New York state, so why am I getting a regional sports channel from Pittsburg?

Would it not make more sense to give us the regional sports from New York City as a default?

I had absolutely no interest in the programming offered by the Empire Sports network, and am even more uninterested in the sports programming from Pittsburg.

When I first subscribed to Dish Network back in the late 90's, I received MSG Network and FOX Sports New York as my regional sports package. Then Dish Network took it upon themselves to take that away and replace it with Empire sports, which I was unhappy with at the time. Now that Empire is gone, I would appreciate it if I could get the New York regional sports package back.

Thank you"


The following is the reply I received from a Dish Network CSR... it is very obvious that the peroson did not even read my entire email:

"Thank you for your email. On January 21st, the Empire Sports Network announced that they will no longer broadcast their programming. This channel was carried in the America’s Top 60 Plus, America’s Top 120, America’s Top 180, DISH Latino DOS and DISH Latino MAX. While we understand your frustrations about the loss of this network, we are excited to have launched the FOX Sports Network Pittsburgh on January 25th to replace this channel.

Your business is greatly appreciated and we thank you for allowing us to be of assistance to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please refer to www.dishnetwork.com or reply to this email.

Sincerely,

Natalie R."


Thanks... for nothing!

#7 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 10:35 AM

The MLB EI blackouts will never change unless the territory each team claims changes.

Dish Network has shown little interest in providing pro sports to outlying areas. As a result, eastern CT can't see the Mets, much of NY State can't see the Mets, far western NY can't see the Indians, part of Indiana can't see the Reds, Las Vegas can't see 4 of 6 teams that claim their area, most of CA / NV / HI can't see the Dodgers, etc, etc, etc.

The only thing that Dish Network *may* care about is if enough subs cancel and move to D*.

#8 OFFLINE   mattsarz

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 10:38 AM

I had a similar issue, which I emailed Dish Network about. I also live in upstate NY and originally received MSG and FOX Sports NY and suddenly had that changed to Empire Sports, the Buffalo sports network.

When Empire Sports recently ended it's programming, I sent Dish the following email:

"I just noticed that Empire Sports has "ceased operations" and Dish Network has added FOX Sportsnet from Pittsburg in it's place.

Can I ask what the reasoning is behind this?

I live in New York state, so why am I getting a regional sports channel from Pittsburg?

Would it not make more sense to give us the regional sports from New York City as a default?

I had absolutely no interest in the programming offered by the Empire Sports network, and am even more uninterested in the sports programming from Pittsburg.

When I first subscribed to Dish Network back in the late 90's, I received MSG Network and FOX Sports New York as my regional sports package. Then Dish Network took it upon themselves to take that away and replace it with Empire sports, which I was unhappy with at the time. Now that Empire is gone, I would appreciate it if I could get the New York regional sports package back.

Thank you"


The following is the reply I received from a Dish Network CSR... it is very obvious that the peroson did not even read my entire email:

"Thank you for your email. On January 21st, the Empire Sports Network announced that they will no longer broadcast their programming. This channel was carried in the America’s Top 60 Plus, America’s Top 120, America’s Top 180, DISH Latino DOS and DISH Latino MAX. While we understand your frustrations about the loss of this network, we are excited to have launched the FOX Sports Network Pittsburgh on January 25th to replace this channel.

Your business is greatly appreciated and we thank you for allowing us to be of assistance to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please refer to www.dishnetwork.com or reply to this email.

Sincerely,

Natalie R."


Thanks... for nothing!

Your situation is happening with a lot of folks I guess on E*. People in the Watertown DMA are now receiving FSN Pittsburgh since Empire dissolved and they'll get zero pro sports unless they go multi-sport.

#9 OFFLINE   23collector

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 11:33 AM

Your situation is happening with a lot of folks I guess on E*. People in the Watertown DMA are now receiving FSN Pittsburgh since Empire dissolved and they'll get zero pro sports unless they go multi-sport.


True. I'm in Champlain, NY. I didn't even want Empire Sports to begin with. When I originally signed up with Dish back in the late 90's, I had MSG and FOX Sports NY. Then out of the blue, they switched it to Empire. Now I've got FOX Sports Pittsburg??? Makes no sense.

The problem with the multi-sport pack is that everything is blacked out, so it's useless anyway.

At least I get some Mets games on WPIX and now WWOR from NY has Friday Night Yankees games.

Other than that, I guess I'll have to rely on whatever ESPN has on.

#10 OFFLINE   obrienaj

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 08:45 PM

True. I'm in Champlain, NY. I didn't even want Empire Sports to begin with. When I originally signed up with Dish back in the late 90's, I had MSG and FOX Sports NY. Then out of the blue, they switched it to Empire. Now I've got FOX Sports Pittsburg??? Makes no sense.

The problem with the multi-sport pack is that everything is blacked out, so it's useless anyway.

At least I get some Mets games on WPIX and now WWOR from NY has Friday Night Yankees games.

Other than that, I guess I'll have to rely on whatever ESPN has on.


The thing I wonder about , because we never get real feedback from Dish, is..do they even know about the issue? It makes actually NO SENSE for people in Northern, Central, and Western New York to be given Fox Sports Pittsburgh. So why did DISH do this? They have never explained to me, the CSR's just don't know and are stumped when I ask them. If Dish could actually give a reason, even if I disagreed with it, I would be happier. Maybe it all goes by zip codes, if it does Dish should simply explain it. On the other hand why does Fox Sport's own web page tell me that my zip code indicates that MSG is my RSN. Maybe its as simple as MSG should be the RSN for people in upstate NY if you have cable or Direct but Dish did not sign a contract.
Andy.

#11 OFFLINE   obrienaj

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 08:58 PM

The Blue Jays do not claim any part of the U.S., despite their proximity to the western NY area. Are you being blacked out of Blue Jays game when they air on the MLB EI free preview? These games should be available to you as the Jays are out-of-market for all subscribers.

(As an aside, I used to pick up Jays games on CBLT and CFTO when I used to live north of Buffalo. Kinda amazing that the team that is closest to you doesn't claim your area but still showed their games on cable, plus you could pick them up via an antenna as they broadcast from the CN Tower).

And it does have to do with how Dish, not MLB, signs their contracts with RSNs. One example would be the FSN Ohio-Dish flap regarding Indians games where Dish only decided to pay for about half the games. People in greater Cleveland, not just outlying areas, couldn't pick up some of the games.

And someone over at DBSForums received an email from FSN Ohio about Reds coverage this year. He lives in Indiana and the Reds claim his area. He wanted to know if their games would be available via FSN Ohio on E*. He was told by FSN Ohio that they offered to cover his area when the resigned with E*, but E* declined.



The Blue Jays DID claim my zip code when I punched it in to a web site a couple of years ago but I have not checked lately. The Blue Jay games were blacked out for me last year on Extra Innings (free week) but I have not had a chance to check this week.


Last year, I got to a higher-up in the Executive Office and she told me that Fox-Sports Ohio did NOT carry Indian's games and that they had started their own channel (like YES) that was not available to Dish. That was a bunch of bunk, but she told me that.

My quest is simple, I would like to re-kindle my interest in baseball and develop a team that I can follow more closely than others. Since I get Pirates games, I was willing to try develop an interest in them. However, an interest in a particular team can get enhanced by one's ability to be within that team's media market e.g watch/listen to TV and Radio channels that mention the team on sports broadcasts, have news items about the team , or have DJs talk about how the team is doing. My location has NO media connection with Pittsburg, TV stations (other than Fox Sports Pittsburgh) cannot be received, radio stations , both AM and FM, cannot realably be received during daylight hours. Toronto, and Cleveland media markets are more accessible, New York City teams although a real LONG way away do get referenced because we have a "same state" connection. So , I would be happy to get EITHER the Mets, Yankees, Indians, or Blue Jays, just one and I'll be quiet.
Andy.

#12 OFFLINE   Cyclone

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 09:14 AM

The new Washington Nationals have a no blackout rule in effect. Since the team is owned by MLB and they don't have a RSN carrying them, they have waived all black out restrictions. :D
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#13 OFFLINE   alebowgm

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 02:15 PM

Question: If a game is not being picked up by any local TV affiliates (so radio only), is the game subject to blackout restrictions or rather can it now be viewed from out of town in Extra Innings?

#14 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 08:12 PM

True. I'm in Champlain, NY. I didn't even want Empire Sports to begin with. When I originally signed up with Dish back in the late 90's, I had MSG and FOX Sports NY. Then out of the blue, they switched it to Empire. Now I've got FOX Sports Pittsburg??? Makes no sense.

The problem with the multi-sport pack is that everything is blacked out, so it's useless anyway.

At least I get some Mets games on WPIX and now WWOR from NY has Friday Night Yankees games.

Other than that, I guess I'll have to rely on whatever ESPN has on.

Of course, if the Mets or Yankees are on ESPN, they'll be blacked out for you. :(




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