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Blackout got me for no reason

1113 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  HGuardian
I couldn't watch the WVU/OK St. game today in the Parkersburg, WV DMA.

Our DMA doesn't have an ABC affiliate, so DTV brings in WSYX from Columbus, OH. Multiple ABC affiliates geographically closer to Parkersburg are carried in their respective markets by DTV.

The game was reverse mirrored ABC/ESPN2 with Nebraska/Penn State, so everyone everywhere should have been able to see both games. However, because DTV chooses to bring in an out of market local from so far away, the NE/Penn St game was showing on our ABC.

Whoever flips the switches for blackouts assumed we had the WVU game on ABC in WV and blacked it out on ESPN2.

End result:

Local ABC: NE/Penn St
ABC East(NY): NE/Penn St
ABC West(LA): NE/Penn St
ESPN2 Alt(211): NE/Penn St

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It was most likely a scenario that you explained: DIRECTV only offers a distant ABC affiliate. ESPN blacks out the entire state of West Virginia on ESPN2 because it (should) be on ABC everywhere in the state as shown here: http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2012/1107/1201110_2_330pm.jpg

The reason is DIRECTV fails to offer you a more local ABC, it's not for no reason. "Sports Leader...unless you are West Virginia football fan in West Virginia"
That was my point. Why wouldn't DTV choose a more local ABC affiliate. Additionally, if they're not going to, then why not keep the circumstances in mind when applying blackouts.

I called and spoke to a CSR yesterday (I had to vent). She said the parent network (ABC in this case) dictates to DTV which affiliate to bring in to a DMA without it's own affiliate. I tried to explain that she was mistaken, but she insisted so I asked to speak to her supervisor.

She conferenced her supervisor in on the call, who proceeded to insist that the FCC dictated the affiliate brought in from outside the DMA. She kept repeating that local channels were dictated by the zip code. She couldn't get that the ABC affiliate offered as a local channel to everyone in the DMA was a completely different issue then wanting a different channel then my local channel. If it wasn't in the script, she didn't have anything.

After 45 min. of talking to the clueless, I said a polite goodbye, explained that I understood there was nothing she could personally do to remedy the issue, and went on with my day.
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It's all probably a contractual issue between DTV and the owners of the ABC affiliates in the area. I'm sure DTV would probably prefer to offer WCHS as your ABC but there is probably a cost issue, or some other snag, so it's just easier for them to offer Columbus, OH.
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