Let me explain the title of this blog post. Trump isn't sitting under our television, controlling what my wife and I are able to watch in our rural south Salem (Oregon) home where the only TV choices are crappy DirecTV and crappy Dish Network.
So DirecTV has a much larger direct impact on my life than Donald Trump does. That's why I'm complaining about DirecTV rather than Trump, even though both are hugely irritating.
There's always something to hate about DirecTV. Let me count three of the ways, starting with the most recent -- which is the biggest current reason I detest DirecTV.
(1) We've lost our local CBS affiliate, KOIN in Portland, because DirecTV is engaged in a corporate pissing match with Nexstar that has caused DirecTV subscribers to lose access to 120 CBS stations.
Naturally DirecTV is claiming it's all Nexstar's fault. I can't bear to read the B.S. on the DirecTV web site about the dispute with Nexstar. It's like trying to decide whether a rattlesnake or a tarantula is more lovable. I freaking hate both of them!
DirecTV won't say how much money is at stake here for its customers.
But let me make a guess that is almost certain to be correct: it's much less than the $10 a month my wife and I are paying to get the CBS All Access app on Apple TV, which allows us to see Late Night With Stephen Colbert, albeit a day after each show airs.
I couldn't care less about who is more in the right in the DirecTV vs. Nexstar fight. All I know is that we aren't getting one of the local stations that DirecTV promised us when we switched from Dish a number of years ago.
Yes, I'm sure somewhere in the fine print of the contract we signed it says something along the lines of "If DirecTV isn't able to provide all the stations you're supposed to get, suck it up and stop complaining."
This Washington Post story says it more delicately, in regards a separate contract dispute between DirecTV and CBS-owned stations in some large cities.
Customers sure are tired of this old song and dance. They don’t want to hear “CBS has put you into the middle of its negotiations,” which DirecTV tweeted to an angry customer on Saturday, or that “loyal viewers are now bearing the burden for AT&T’s unwillingness” to bend, as CBS put it in its own press release.
It doesn’t matter whether AT&T “dropped” the network or CBS “pulled its signal” from AT&T. Subscribers just want consistent service at a fair price, and that seems like it will be harder and harder to get, thanks to an industry that’s turning more anti-competitive to protect its profit margins in the wake of cord-cutting and consolidation.
(2) The DirecTV user interface was horrible for a long time, and is merely terrible now. After DirecTV made an "upgrade" to its interface, for months shows that we'd recorded would disappear, seemingly randomly. I kept complaining to customer service, to no avail.
Often I could search for them, and find them after considerable trouble. Things are better now, but I still want the old interface back, which worked fine.
(3) I've stopped counting how many years I've been unable to watch sports on the Pac 12 Networks, because DirecTV can't work out a deal with them. I've started subscribing to Sling TV during football season so I can watch the Oregon and Oregon State games that are only on the Pac 12 Networks.
Again, I suspect the cost per subscriber for DirecTV to offer the Pac 12 Networks is way less than the $20-30 dollars a month I have to pay Sling TV.
Yet we're trapped.
Dish is engaged in a contract dispute with HBO that has been going on since November of last year. There's several HBO shows we watch regularly, so jumping from crappy DirecTV to crappy Dish Network makes no sense. We're screwed either way we'd go with the only two satellite TV providers.
So I'm left with...