Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pull The Plug

One out and one on in the bottom of the ninth. Angels down 2 to 1. Papelbon on the mound for Boston. Juan Rivera strides to the plate and...

What happens next? Sportsnet Pacific pulls the plug. It's 10 pm PDT you see, and time to go to Sportsnetnews.

Fortunately I'm vacationing in Vancouver, and MLB.TV is at hand. The switchover is accomplished in time to see Rivera strike out swinging, and Papelbon seals the deal by downing Kendrick on four pitches. Sox win.

The annoyance lingers. Sportsnet already devotes 11 1/2 hours a day to a barely changing highlight package that it passes off as news. That might be excusable in the morning hours while the sun burns off the dew, but in prime time it makes no sense. Anyone eager for the day's highlights can endure a short programming delay before joining the news, or wait for the 11 pm package.

What the move really does is encourage the flight to the internet. For the price of two month's cable, fans can enjoy unlimited* access to baseball broadcasts. Miss your favourite team? You can watch them later from the archive.

There are still bugs, including the U.S. blackout zones and below-broadcast quality video (an issue that becomes more pressing as television moves to high definition), but for fans with a deep interest in the sport the internet option looks better everyday. It won't be Sportsnet pulling the plug next time. It will be the fans.

6 Comments:

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Alex said...

Some people will never learn from The Heidi Game.

 
At 12:30 AM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

Damn, I was trying to remember that, but couldn't find the right search terms to pull it up. Good catch.

 
At 3:26 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

My God. Did it happen here, Abboud? Thank God I actually didn't watch tonight. I didn't even realize it was on. I considered myself lucky for getting the one game last night.

 
At 5:53 AM, Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I bought that Sports package from my cable company. 24 bucks a month or whatever but I get both Extra Innings and Centre Ice. Well worth it. I can understand that if you lived in Edmonton and didn't need Centre Ice, it's a little more difficult justify but I can't recommend it strongly enough.

 
At 7:10 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

The switchover is accomplished in time to see Rivera strike out swinging, and Papelbon seals the deal by downing Kendrick on four pitches.

That sounds almost exactly how the Sox won the game two nights ago. That kid is just sick.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Mini Me said...

Is it over?

 

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