Nine baseball games one day, six the next, and then today I sit down to watch the one game I want to see, the one I'm supposed to get, and I find DirecTV has blacked it out. I knew it was a mistake, and I fired off an angry email, using words like "outrage" and phrases like "this cannot happen." In fact, not just words and phrases like those, but those words and phrases exactly.
Luckily, the local cable company provides me with the same channel that I wasn't getting from DirecTV. The signal isn't digital, and I'm not supposed to get it (because I pay for only the local over-the-air channels on cable), but it was there and I could watch. This didn't keep me from being steamed at my satellite provider, though, for not providing what I'm paying for.
I get the Total Choice Platinum package from DirecTV, and I pay extra for the baseball package, something called MLB Extra Innings. I know they black out the other regional games on Wednesdays, because ESPN has exclusive rights. But they're not supposed to restrict my access to Fox Sports Net Bay Area at any time.
Obviously, during a Giants game is exactly the worst time to pull the plug on me. If you want to me to see red and come up with colorful new language, that's the way to do it. I don't spend a lot on entertainment outside of my satellite subscriptions, and I expect my money's worth. (Plus I'm still a little cranky from the time change, but never mind that.)
The bizarre thing is that this happened before, at the beginning of hockey season, when a Sharks game was blacked out. After messages back and for that lasted for several days, I finally demanded (and got) an apology, and an admission that the game shouldn't have been blacked out.
And that was probably the last time I was interested enough in a hockey game to make a big stink about it. I don't think I've watched a single hockey game all the way through all season. But if I'd been flipping through the thirty-odd sports channels and noticed that they'd blacked out a game I should be getting, I would have let them know, whether I actually wanted to watch it or not.
The best thing to come out of the hockey experience was that I saved those old messages. Tonight in my wrath I could go back and use the proper term (RSN, or Regional Sports Network), so that the fine folks at customer service wouldn't think they were dealing with some crank that they could blow off with fancy wordplay. When I know I'm right, I don't give up.