The sports page informs me that next Saturday's Oregon-Fresno State game only will be televised on the new Pac-12 Network. I want to watch the game. But paternalistic DirecTV doesn't feel that I should.
Today, once again, I contacted DirecTV, saying that one of their Important Subscribers, namely, me, wanted the pissing match between them and the Pac-12 Network to be resolved. Pronto! Before Saturday.
I got an annoying email response from a customer service rep. My reactions to the annoyances are in italics.
Dear Mr. Hines,
Thank you for writing about the Pac 12 Sports Network. I see you are one of our loyal customers, and we would like you to know that we appreciate your business.
Believe me, I don't feel very loyal at the moment. I switched to DirecTV from Dish after Dish dropped CBS shows, such as our must-see Survivor, over a contract dispute. So I'd drop DirecTV in an instant if we had a viable cable alternative. But since we live in the boonies, I'm stuck with satellite.
I know that this channel is important to you.
Wow, very astute. Must be the frequent complaining I've been doing via email and Twitter ever since I realized that DirecTV wasn't going to carry the Pac-12 Network at the start of football season.
We have been in discussions with the Pac 12 Conference Commissioner and Pac-12 Networks representatives for several months and hope to reach an agreement that will be fair for both those customers who want to receive Pac 12 programming and those who do not. For the latest information on channel additions, please visit our web site at www.directv.com/pr.
Pardon my self-centeredness, but I don't give a rip about DirecTV customers who don't want to get the PAC-12 Network. I'm forced to pay for lots of channels that I never watch, but other subscribers do, so why can't those other subscribers pay for a channel that I will watch?
In addition, the vast majority of games, and those with the most conference or national title implications, will instead be televised by the ESPN family of networks and ABC Sports, FOX Sports and FSN, FX, CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network, NBC Sport and NBC Sports Network, and several other regional services, all of which are available on DIRECTV.
First, I don't believe this "vast majority" stuff. But maybe you're right. What's annoying is your assumption that I should only be interested in games with "conference or national title implications." I guess this means DirecTV won't have any OSU games, since likely the Beavers will suck this year and have no chance at the Pac-12 title. Still, I'd like to watch them when I want to. So don't tell me which football games I should be interested in, when the Pac-12 Network will be televising all of them, to my understanding.
Our goal is to always strive to provide our customers the very best TV experience at the most reasonable cost, and so we would hope to provide Pac-12 Networks to the fans whom most want it without burdening non-sports fans with an unreasonable additional expense.
OK. So do it. I'd be happy to pay 80 cents a month more for the Pac-12 Network. I leave that much in the tip jar at a coffee house when I buy a 16 ounce caffeine fix and a whole grain bagel. Just cut the crap with all that talk about "goal" and "hope." Simply do it! Sign a deal with the Pac-12 Network.
I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.
And I appreciate the opportunity to sarcastically criticize you.
Whatever happened to the adage "the customer is always right"? I know that DirecTV is getting lots of pressure from subscribers to add the Pac-12 Network. Yet nothing has happened so far.
Aside from subscribers jumping ship to another TV provider. Keep it up, DirecTV, and you'll learn how loyal to you your avid Pac-12 sports fans are. My prediction: not much.
Note: if DirecTV still doesn't have the Pac-12 Network by this weekend, check out a Washington State fan's humorous suggestions for what else you can do other than watch football. Such as Go to Michael's with your wife to get scrapbooking materials.
Yikes! Scary! Hope I don't have a nightmare about that tonight.
Speaking of nightmares, the Pac-12 Network is encouraging DirecTV subscribers to give their satellite service a fright by signing up with a competitor who does carry the network. Good for them. I suspect the Pac-12 Network is just as greedy as DirecTV, but my sympathies are with the Network, since I want to be able to watch every Pac-12 game, not just the ones DirecTV thinks I should want to watch.