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An Open Letter To NBC Sports



 I don’t have cable TV.  The only channel I watch is NBC Sports for hockey, and that costs $60 a month because it comes on the sports package instead of the basic package.  I’m not paying $60 a month for one channel.  During the NHL regular season, this worked out fine, I paid for GameCenter and got probably 90% of my team’s games there.

 Now the playoffs have arrived and most of the games are on NBC Sports.  I can’t watch these on GameCenter because there is a blackout in effect for nationally televised games.  I can’t watch these on NBC Sports because I don’t have cable: “It looks like your TV subscription does not provide access to this service. Please contact your TV provider for more information.”  (Which makes no goddamn sense, why would I watch it on the computer if I could watch it on TV?)

 Look, I paid for GameCenter, I don’t have a problem with shelling out a reasonable amount of money to watch hockey.  You have made that impossible.  It’s remarkable that the situation has to be this dumb.  You can tell by now that I’m not an idiot.  I can go online and compare the ratings numbers for the NHL to any other major sport in the United States.  Hell, the mere fact that you guys are carrying these games and not ESPN is telling enough.  So here are my questions:

  •  How can you afford to limit viewership for your product, which (comparably) isn’t a very good product?
  • How are your advertisers and the NHL’s advertisers not ready to knock down your door?

 I know you’re probably going to come at me with some PR-heavy diatribe about how the service providers (i.e. cable companies) dictate what you can and cannot do.  I understand that the cable companies want to make money and they’re not making any on me.  Why then, can’t you charge a premium to view games online that satisfies that issue?  The technology is there, you’ve probably got an armada of lawyers able to hammer out an agreement, and the demand is probably there.  (Although maybe not since you insist on forcing dumb shits like Mike Milbury and Keith Jones on us.)

 People don’t pirate this shit because they don’t want to pay, they do it because the only options you provide are completely asinine.

 -Alexander S. Bauer

Black and Blue and Gold


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