Jump to content


Welcome to DBSTalk


Sign In 

Create Account
Welcome to DBSTalk. Our community covers all aspects of video delivery solutions including: Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), Cable Television, and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). We also have forums to discuss popular television programs, home theater equipment, and internet streaming service providers. Members of our community include experts who can help you solve technical problems, industry professionals, company representatives, and novices who are here to learn.

Like most online communities you must register to view or post in our community. Sign-up is a free and simple process that requires minimal information. Be a part of our community by signing in or creating an account. The Digital Bit Stream starts here!
  • Reply to existing topics or start a discussion of your own
  • Subscribe to topics and forums and get email updates
  • Send private personal messages (PM) to other forum members
  • Customize your profile page and make new friends
 
Guest Message by DevFuse

Photo

PJStar.com: "Blackouts give DirecTV a black eye"


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
47 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   lwilli201

lwilli201

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,988 posts
Joined: Dec 22, 2006

Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:23 PM

What ways is D* going to change? They are only do what they are told.

MLB tells them where to blackout games on Extra Innings.
FSN Midwest is telling them where to blackout Cards games.

So D* does what they are told to do. If customers get caught in a blackout then they only have MLB and FSN Midwest to blame. InDemand, D* or E* can't do anything about blackouts and if they don't follow them then they are sued.

Same with Sunday Ticket. The local affilitates tell DirecTV what games they will carry and to black out those games.

Does anybody really think D* wants to blackout anything? It's a huge pain in time and resources (and mad customers). Nothing but a thorn in their side (and ours). Only way to get it changed is via the sports leagues and network/cable stations that are the ones that actually impose these blackouts.


You are totally correct. But there are those that would rather shoot the messenger.
1-HR21-100, 2-HR21-700, 1 w/eSATA, all networked, unsupported MRV. AT9 Dish(110 & 119 disabled) and SWM8.

...Ads Help To Support This SIte...

#22 OFFLINE   Supervolcano

Supervolcano

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,085 posts
Joined: Jan 23, 2007

Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:36 PM

Look, I don't care who is at fault, whether it's D*, MLB, or the RSN.

I've seen posts on this forum where a user was blacked out.
He called D* and was told the RSN called for the blackout.
He called RSN and was told D* shouldn't be blacking it out.

There is a problem.
CSR's for every corporation involved lays the blame on some other company.

They all need to get together and solve this madness ... together!!!
Click Here to See my Equipment and SWM8 Configuration.
Click Here for My Theories on why we have no shouldn't have DLB yet.
Click Here to Review cbaker's "Long Term (Multiple CE) Bug List".

#23 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

Satelliteracer

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 3,035 posts
Joined: Dec 06, 2006

Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:35 PM

Look, I don't care who is at fault, whether it's D*, MLB, or the RSN.

I've seen posts on this forum where a user was blacked out.
He called D* and was told the RSN called for the blackout.
He called RSN and was told D* shouldn't be blacking it out.

There is a problem.
CSR's for every corporation involved lays the blame on some other company.

They all need to get together and solve this madness ... together!!!



It's a very complex situation and each league is different. Leagues often change eligibility zip codes sometimes a day or two before the season starts. In some cases an RSN is not blacked out for 98% of the RSN territory but in some spillover territories it is and had nothing to do with MLB but with the agreements in place with the provider (E*, D* or InDemand) and the RSN. And what applies to MLB is different than NBA or NFL, etc....or in some cases is as simple as a spot beam fringe situation.

So many things come into play.

#24 OFFLINE   Sharkie_Fan

Sharkie_Fan

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,535 posts
Joined: Sep 25, 2006

Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:13 PM

What ways is D* going to change? They are only do what they are told.

MLB tells them where to blackout games on Extra Innings.
FSN Midwest is telling them where to blackout Cards games.

So D* does what they are told to do. If customers get caught in a blackout then they only have MLB and FSN Midwest to blame. InDemand, D* or E* can't do anything about blackouts and if they don't follow them then they are sued.

Same with Sunday Ticket. The local affilitates tell DirecTV what games they will carry and to black out those games.

Does anybody really think D* wants to blackout anything? It's a huge pain in time and resources (and mad customers). Nothing but a thorn in their side (and ours). Only way to get it changed is via the sports leagues and network/cable stations that are the ones that actually impose these blackouts.


Way to take my quote entirely out of context, bonscott... thanks for that. :rolleyes:

My post had nothing to do with D* changing their blackout rules. D* changing their ways was a reference to FSNMW trying to get their channel carried as a basic channel.

Im aware that D* blacks out what their told, but the post you quoted had absolutely nothing to do with D* blacking channels out - either correctly or incorrectly. IF you read the whole post, you'll notice that I was referring to FSN MW's decision to black out Cardinals games to certain markets in an effort to manipulate D* into providing their channel to a greater audience in basic programming packages.

#25 OFFLINE   Supervolcano

Supervolcano

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,085 posts
Joined: Jan 23, 2007

Posted 09 April 2007 - 07:16 PM

It's a very complex situation and each league is different. Leagues often change eligibility zip codes sometimes a day or two before the season starts. In some cases an RSN is not blacked out for 98% of the RSN territory but in some spillover territories it is and had nothing to do with MLB but with the agreements in place with the provider (E*, D* or InDemand) and the RSN. And what applies to MLB is different than NBA or NFL, etc....or in some cases is as simple as a spot beam fringe situation.

So many things come into play.

I don't care if there's 10,000,002 things that come into play!!!
D*, E*, and Cable need to all use the same set of rules.

So have one meeting of all the parties releated to baseball broadcasts.
And another meeting of all the parties related to basketball broadcasts.
And another meeting of all the parties related to hockey broadcasts.

STRAIGHTEN OUT THE SYSTEM!!!

AND Make the system have a way for a customer to contact the provider during a blacked out game towhere the provider get get on the phone with the broadcaster and the particular sport's front office ... so an incorrect blackout can immediately be corrected when a customer complains.

If each party involved needs to hire people for JUST THIS PURPOSE, then dammit-all, DO IT!! Sports subscriptions bring in HEAVY REVENUE and the customers should not be forced to suffer from "lack of communication" between the all the parties who are profiting from those revenues.
Click Here to See my Equipment and SWM8 Configuration.
Click Here for My Theories on why we have no shouldn't have DLB yet.
Click Here to Review cbaker's "Long Term (Multiple CE) Bug List".

#26 OFFLINE   BJM

BJM

    Godfather

  • Registered
  • 338 posts
Joined: Dec 09, 2006

Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:50 PM

I don't subscribe to the out of market sports packages because I'm not that fanatical :). But I agree with the posters that the system is poorly set up. And I too blame the sport and the regional networks over D*.

My suggestion (which I've made elsewhere) which would probably fix the system (though it doubt it would be a big seller) is to create a subscription that *guarantees* all the games of a particular team. In some sports, it would be easier - I haven't heard much complaints about NBA games. But because there are so many baseball games, the RSNs and local stations are much more involved.
THR-22 (3/2012 - DirecTiVo) | 720p Pillar Box
HDMI to Panasonic 32" LCD | No OTA
Network: Mac OS 10.7.3 <-> Belkin router <-> WGA600N wireless adapter
Live TV rarely, trickplay often (esp. 30sec slip) | ~ 30 shows in Season Pass
DirecTV since 12/2004
[previous HR20-700 12/2006-3/2012]
[retired: TiVo Series 1 (!), 150+ hrs., 1/2000-1/2007]
Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto DMA

#27 OFFLINE   bonscott87

bonscott87

    Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

  • Registered
  • 9,809 posts
Joined: Jan 21, 2003

Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:54 PM

Way to take my quote entirely out of context, bonscott... thanks for that. :rolleyes:


Sorry about that. My post was more directed to many comments that it's D*'s fault, not to you directly.

#28 OFFLINE   Sharkie_Fan

Sharkie_Fan

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,535 posts
Joined: Sep 25, 2006

Posted 09 April 2007 - 09:26 PM

Sorry about that. My post was more directed to many comments that it's D*'s fault, not to you directly.


No worries... just havin some fun... This is just one of the joys of forum communication.. the conversation is so disjointed and all over the place its just too easy to write something that gets "lost in translation" a little bit... ;)

I have to say though, I find this whole discussion fascinating...

The op linked to an article that basically outlined the fact that FSN MW is deliberately blacking out certain customers in an attempt to parlay that into easier access to their channel.... and yet the posts come rolling in about how D* needs to fix this.

Frankly, though I'm not affected by them in the least, I find FSN-MWs actions deplorable... It's kind of "two wrongs don't make a right" kind of thing. I know it's a bit of a naive idea to think that ANYONE in corporate america would put the consumer before profits, but really... do you think FSNMW gives a damn about the consumer on this one? They're after the bucks from getting a broader audience.... If they really cared so deeply about the consumer they'd find a better way to further their agenda than to deliberatly withhold programming from the consumer... And yet, still, D* gets vilified for it...

#29 OFFLINE   lewah33

lewah33

    AllStar

  • Registered
  • 58 posts
Joined: Nov 01, 2006

Posted 09 April 2007 - 10:16 PM

You are totally correct. But there are those that would rather shoot the messenger.


I think there are 2 issues on the table. One is FSNMW's power play, trying to get their FSN on the basic tier. The other issue is D*'s deceptive or incompetent customer service staff.

Fact is, D* doesn't train the people who answer the phone well enough, so they cannot provide accurate service, and D* ends up with PR problems like these. Someone in El Segundo did a cost benefit analysis, and figured it would be cheaper to pay back customers who complain vehemently than to give accurate information.

Its a simple business decision. Its nefarious, and it is the reason I will leave Directv the minute they no longer have the NFL exclusive.

#30 OFFLINE   bwaldron

bwaldron

    Impossible Dreamer

  • Registered
  • 5,524 posts
Joined: Oct 24, 2005

Posted 09 April 2007 - 11:38 PM

I think there are 2 issues on the table. One is FSNMW's power play, trying to get their FSN on the basic tier. The other issue is D*'s deceptive or incompetent customer service staff.

Fact is, D* doesn't train the people who answer the phone well enough, so they cannot provide accurate service, and D* ends up with PR problems like these. Someone in El Segundo did a cost benefit analysis, and figured it would be cheaper to pay back customers who complain vehemently than to give accurate information.

Its a simple business decision. Its nefarious, and it is the reason I will leave Directv the minute they no longer have the NFL exclusive.


Understand where you're coming from...though I don't attribute any nefarious motives to the CSRs in general -- just incompetence when it comes to dealing with sports blackouts.

And in my experience the customer service grass is a lot less green with other providers...but YMMV.

#31 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

Satelliteracer

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 3,035 posts
Joined: Dec 06, 2006

Posted 10 April 2007 - 12:08 AM

I don't care if there's 10,000,002 things that come into play!!!
D*, E*, and Cable need to all use the same set of rules.

So have one meeting of all the parties releated to baseball broadcasts.
And another meeting of all the parties related to basketball broadcasts.
And another meeting of all the parties related to hockey broadcasts.

STRAIGHTEN OUT THE SYSTEM!!!

AND Make the system have a way for a customer to contact the provider during a blacked out game towhere the provider get get on the phone with the broadcaster and the particular sport's front office ... so an incorrect blackout can immediately be corrected when a customer complains.

If each party involved needs to hire people for JUST THIS PURPOSE, then dammit-all, DO IT!! Sports subscriptions bring in HEAVY REVENUE and the customers should not be forced to suffer from "lack of communication" between the all the parties who are profiting from those revenues.


Well that's just it, you're making the mistake that they all operate under the same parameters and they do not.

Let me give you an example. The local cable company in St. Louis may have a deal with that RSN that allows them to deliver Cardinals games to everyone in the Cardinals "territory". Dish and DIRECTV may not have that deal with that RSN and thus are only allowed to provide the games outside deemed territory.

It's a very basic example, but the bigger point is that not everyone has the same deal especially on a local level.

I'm sure you will recall years ago when Echostar did not carry Fox Sports West 2 here in Los Angeles....had nothing to do with communications, just that each MSO has to cut various deals with each of the RSN's, etc....not all deals are the same.

#32 OFFLINE   saleen351

saleen351

    Godfather

  • Registered
  • 478 posts
Joined: Mar 28, 2006

Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:07 AM

The NFL got it right, just play all games! However I understand that baseball is different and needs different rules however, times are changing and MLB needs to go to the NFL system.

In 4 years, only 1 NFL game has been blacked out for me. It was a Skins game vs the Raiders I think in week 1 a few years back.

However, I've gotten way more YES games this year, woohooo!

#33 OFFLINE   bonscott87

bonscott87

    Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

  • Registered
  • 9,809 posts
Joined: Jan 21, 2003

Posted 10 April 2007 - 12:34 PM

Well, the only blackouts the NFL has is for a non-sellout.
Then there is the Sunday Ticket "brownout" which is if a game is on a local broadcast station then it's not available on Sunday Ticket.

But it is ineed simple and consistant across the country.

MLB on the other had is different from team to team and even county to county. It's crazy.

#34 OFFLINE   Ext 721

Ext 721

    Icon

  • Registered
  • 555 posts
Joined: Feb 26, 2007

Posted 10 April 2007 - 12:57 PM

THere are areas that are in the FSN Midwest home territory but are NOT in Cardinals home territory. Technically, Cardinals games in that area are "out of market" and should be available through EI. However, FSN Midwest is trying to pull a power play and so they are executing their right to broadcast Cardinal games within their home territory - then turning around and blacking out the broadcast to customers who are not in the cardinal's home territory.

So, there are a number of cardinal fans across the midwest who cannot receive cardinal games on their televisions. EI blacks them out because their local RSN has the broadcast rights and is broadcasting the game. The local RSN in their attempt to force the carrier's hand has chosen to black out those same customers because they are not in cardinal territory and therefore, technically, it's an out of market game that you're not allowed to receive....

Frankly, if only a few thousand are being deprived of the ability to watch games, I don't see how that's really going to do much to make D* change their ways....


I can forsee the "real" reason for this...

Cardinals are very popular team now. (go figure)
Cardinals want more money for their games. (per territory)
RSN not willing to pay.

and the final outcome of almost every blaxkout equation: fans get screwed.
....Not Purchased.

#35 OFFLINE   Ext 721

Ext 721

    Icon

  • Registered
  • 555 posts
Joined: Feb 26, 2007

Posted 10 April 2007 - 01:29 PM

Understand where you're coming from...though I don't attribute any nefarious motives to the CSRs in general -- just incompetence when it comes to dealing with sports blackouts.

And in my experience the customer service grass is a lot less green with other providers...but YMMV.


IT comes from several factors. The first of which is that blackouts are often applied willy-nilly by the teams, leagues, or RSNs...and each layer of the onion has some say.

It's constantly changing, so educating anyone on exactly why would be impossible.

And the information systems would have to be updated constantly, because often, blackouts change within a single day, or even from one half of a game to the other.

And since roughly half of blackouts occur because the companies involved are simply not willing to lose money on sports, telling a customer "that game is blacked out because someone would have to pay $100,000 more for your region/zip code , and there simply aren't enough fans there to justify spending the money" would send someone through the roof.


But the #1 reason companies won't ever have a "blackout CSR"?

Blacked out sports customers are the most vile, toxic, repugnant angry retards on the face of the planet, for the few minutes when they realize they cannot see their game. I've talked to a few. They literally foam at the mouth and break objects.

No-one would ever stay in that position for long, even if it paid $100k.
....Not Purchased.

#36 OFFLINE   Ext 721

Ext 721

    Icon

  • Registered
  • 555 posts
Joined: Feb 26, 2007

Posted 10 April 2007 - 02:02 PM

I don't subscribe to the out of market sports packages because I'm not that fanatical :). But I agree with the posters that the system is poorly set up. And I too blame the sport and the regional networks over D*.

My suggestion (which I've made elsewhere) which would probably fix the system (though it doubt it would be a big seller) is to create a subscription that *guarantees* all the games of a particular team. In some sports, it would be easier - I haven't heard much complaints about NBA games. But because there are so many baseball games, the RSNs and local stations are much more involved.


An individual subscriber would probably end up being required to pay DEARLY!!! for this, since it would have to be added as an "exception" clause to every sports distribution contract written. In addition, the "rights" of the little local stations would have to be considered, and the games shown *over* their typical dominance, since it's easy to accidentally black out.

It may become feasible once teams see YES and other team-owned channels doing well.
....Not Purchased.

#37 OFFLINE   bwaldron

bwaldron

    Impossible Dreamer

  • Registered
  • 5,524 posts
Joined: Oct 24, 2005

Posted 10 April 2007 - 04:47 PM

IT comes from several factors. The first of which is that blackouts are often applied willy-nilly by the teams, leagues, or RSNs...and each layer of the onion has some say.

It's constantly changing, so educating anyone on exactly why would be impossible.

And the information systems would have to be updated constantly, because often, blackouts change within a single day, or even from one half of a game to the other.

And since roughly half of blackouts occur because the companies involved are simply not willing to lose money on sports, telling a customer "that game is blacked out because someone would have to pay $100,000 more for your region/zip code , and there simply aren't enough fans there to justify spending the money" would send someone through the roof.


I still think it should be do-able. The computer system is blacking out folks for a reason...need to put a friendly interface on that database/logic into an expert system that the CSRs can access.


But the #1 reason companies won't ever have a "blackout CSR"?

Blacked out sports customers are the most vile, toxic, repugnant angry retards on the face of the planet, for the few minutes when they realize they cannot see their game. I've talked to a few. They literally foam at the mouth and break objects.

No-one would ever stay in that position for long, even if it paid $100k.


I don't doubt that this is largely true, even though I always do my best to act civil to frontline CS folks, no matter how frustrated I am. I have a lot of respect for the crap they have to deal with, and know full well that I couldn't do their job and that the bulk of them are doing their best with the information they have been provided.

#38 OFFLINE   Sharkie_Fan

Sharkie_Fan

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 2,535 posts
Joined: Sep 25, 2006

Posted 10 April 2007 - 05:04 PM

I can forsee the "real" reason for this...

Cardinals are very popular team now. (go figure)
Cardinals want more money for their games. (per territory)
RSN not willing to pay.

and the final outcome of almost every blaxkout equation: fans get screwed.


Unless, of course, you believe the FSN MW spokesman who told the reporter in the link that started this whole thread... :)

THe claim is that they do in fact have broadcasting rights to those territories. However, they seem to be outlying territories, and D* does not offer FSN MW as part of the basic programming package, only if the subscriber pays $12 for the "sports pack". In those instances, FSN MW has chosen to black out the subscriber - EVEN IF THEY PAID FOR THE SPORTS PACKAGE.

They're trying to rile up D* customers so that they'll complain to D*.... Hoping that D* in turn will give FSN MW a spot in the basic package...

#39 OFFLINE   fornextloop

fornextloop

    Cool Member

  • Registered
  • 17 posts
Joined: Mar 15, 2007

Posted 10 April 2007 - 05:30 PM

Forgive me if this ground has been covered, but a very simple fix would be to have 'home territory' maps with zip codes on each providers, sports authority and content creators (original broadcaster) websites. With this information consumers might actually be able to make an informed buying decision, but I don't think that is what any of these groups actually want. I made this suggestion to D*, the NHL and the Nashville Predators when I lived in Nashville (they were constantly messing up the Predators games) but I have never seen even an attempt at this.
D* sub since 1997

#40 OFFLINE   dishrich

dishrich

    Hall Of Fame

  • Registered
  • 1,541 posts
Joined: Apr 22, 2002

Posted 10 April 2007 - 05:38 PM

However, they seem to be outlying territories, and D* does not offer FSN MW as part of the basic programming package, only if the subscriber pays $12 for the "sports pack". In those instances, FSN MW has chosen to black out the subscriber - EVEN IF THEY PAID FOR THE SPORTS PACKAGE.

They're trying to rile up D* customers so that they'll complain to D*.... Hoping that D* in turn will give FSN MW a spot in the basic package...


This is EXACTLY the situation, except there really isn't "outlying territories" for these teams - either a subscriber IS or is NOT in the local market for a given team. The areas where FSM is being blacked out are the overlapping areas where there is more than one "local" RSN, but where FSM gets 2nd class treatment, compared to CSC, for example in my area.

Sounds kind of like the stunts E* pulls whenever they get into a snit with the various programmers they have. Except this time, FSM is the one pulling the prog off from legit, paying customers, because they can't get D* or E* to acquiesce to putting FSM on the basic tier like CSC. So, if they black out "marque" prog like the Cards, D* & E* will cave into FSM demands, due to hoards of angry Cards fans complaining.




Protected By... spam firewall...And...