You folks are total jerks. Here is what happened:
- In its infinite wisdom, Rogers Sportsnet decided to carry the Memorial Cup (Junior A) hockey games instead of Toronto Blue Jays baseball on ALL of its channels. They announced on the air and on their website that we could watch the baseball games on their "alternate network", which I gather is not unlike TSN2 or CBC-Bold --- a second set of programming from the network.
- We were unable to find the Alternate Sportsnet channel among the hundreds of channels carried by EastLink Cable (which recently acquired Bluewater Cable, our original cable service provider.
- So during the weekend, I called Eastlink to find out where I could watch the ballgames that were being played.
- During my first call, I spoke with Andy, based in Prince Edward Island (note: I live in Ontario). He remarked that one of his co-workers was dealing with a call about exactly the same issue. They had no idea why we did not have access to the Alternate Sportsnet channel.
- I complained that since I, in effect, sign over my entire monthly paycheque (or so it seems --- I pay quite a lot for a home customer) to you folks, I thought it reasonable that I be able to watch the game somewhere, somehow on my cable system. I even pay extra for the MLB package, and said, "Well surely I should be able to find a telecast of the Jays game somewhere in that package.
- Andy agreed and said he was certain I could view the Jays game on at least one of the MLB package channels. To that end, he consulted with someone else and then gave me two different channel numbers to try that afternoon (I was calling in the morning).
- Well, sure as shootin', when game time rolled around, we tried every channel we could in the entire lineup from EastLink, and we could not find the game.
- So I called your customer service number again.
- This time I was connected with Tim in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He clearly had no idea what was going on, but he checked with someone at EastLink who said that EastLink was unable to obtain the license for the Alternative Sportsnet channel.
- I said, "I don't believe EastLink is unable to obtain the license. Alternate Sportsnet is carried on Shaw Cable; it is also carried by Bell Satellite and by something called Cable-Cable. I don't believe EastLink couldn't get the license if you wanted it." He stuck by his story, and I stuck by my criticism, feeling considerably cheesed off.
- To make matters worse, it seems that because the BlueJays are carried on the Alternate Sportsnet channel, they are blacked out on the MLB package. So we were stuck: no Blue Jays games while the Memorial Cup is being played.
- Because I was curious, I sent e-mail to Sportsnet to ask why EastLink was unable to obtain a license for the Alternate Sportsnet channel:
- Today I received the following response from Sportsnet:
- It isn't completely clear that Sportsnet provides the feed for Sportsnet Alternative at no charge to all providers. Their response certainly reads that way, though. And even if they were charging for the feed and you folks didn't want to pay for it, you should have told me that instead of saying you were unable to obtain the license.
- I then tried to write to you in e-mail to inquire further about the situation. I logged onto your site.
- But before I could click on "Contact Us", a box popped up that requires a user to click on the name of their former cable provider, in my case, Bluewater Cable.
- And no matter what browser I use, I am told that the link doesn't work. I cannot even write to you directly to express my concerns. Hence, I am left with posting this on a blog for others to read.
Is there some reason I cannot watch the Toronto Blue Jays on East Link? I gather they do not provide the Alternate Sportsnet channel, but can you tell me why? They say it is because they are unable to obtain the license, but I don't understand that explanation.
What is worse, we cannot even see the Blue Jays on MLB extra innings. Why are we being left out?
Thanks for your recent email. We provided the feed for the Sportsnet Alternative channel to all providers including Eastlink. No license was necessary, they just had to get the broadcast feed from us. We are not sure why they were not able to do so.
- not only did someone tell me I could watch the game on certain channels when I couldn't,
- not only did someone tell me that you were unable to obtain the license when apparently you can,
- but then your "contact us" link is inoperable.
Is it time for the CRTC to look into your behaviour? Or is it just time for people in our area to reconsider their satellite vs cable decision?
There is a simple, two-part solution to this situation:
- Stop lying to (or at the very least misleading) your customers.
- Start providing the Alternative Sportsnet channel for your customers.