Like many people in Montana, I find that EPSN’s current attempt to stifle viewership to be misguided and wrong. I’m not a huge fan of the Cats or the Griz, honestly, because being a part of the BCS means they’ll never have a championship that means anything. This is America, you fuckwads, we don’t “vote” for winners, we vote for politicians. Champions earn their fare, and in a real league, like that of the NAIA, we know who the champions are. (GO SAINTS!!)
(Aside: You can and should watch the Saints face the Cougars of Azusa Pacific on Saturday on the CW statewide in Montana, and online at gotw.tv as well. It’s going to be a helluva game!)
Anyway, I had to speak my mind, so I found the comment page on ESPN and sent them this little gem:
Why would you block the Montana games from the Montana populace? No one else is going to watch them. You know how HBO and your parent company Disney got really big back in the day? Free weekends. Perhaps you should open up to Montana IP addresses for these games and run a bunch of ads saying “have Optimum add us so you can see the games next week” and see what happens.
And they, at 1:43 pm MST, replied with:
I’m sorry to hear you are not able to access ESPN3.
I researched your IP address and determined your internet service provider is not a ESPN3 affiliate. Unfortunately, you will not be able to access ESPN3 with your current internet service provider.
To request access from your current provider, search for an affiliated provider in your area, or view a list of all affiliated U.S. providers, please visit our FAQs and review “How can I get access to all ESPN networks available on WatchESPN?”
For live assistance with this or any other issue, please call Customer Care at 1-888-549-3776 (ESPN) between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. EST.
ESPN.com Customer Care
Yeah, so I checked out there list, and nothing of note was on it, so I was left kinda going “meh, whatever” because again, not really my area of interest, but I still think it’s dumb, and I fucking hate when Montana gets screwed because it’s not considered a big enough market to care about. Fucking hate it.
But then, mysteriously, at 2:54 pm MST, I got this:
Thank you for contacting ESPN.
The following ESPN3 providers carry ESPN3 in Montana: 3 Rivers Communications, Range Telephone Cooperative and Triangle Communications System. A full list of current affiliated providers nationwide for ESPN3 can be found by visiting http://espn.go.com/espn3/affList?device=null.
ESPN is working diligently with other providers to offer the network to as many fans as possible. Fans who do not receive their service from any of the above can call their provider and request that they offer ESPN3 to their subscribers. For CenturyLink subscribers, please call 877-348-9005. For Optimum, contact Customer Service at 866-575-8000.
This year, ESPN3 is delivering the most number of FCS Championship games ever distributed live nationally. The network is also showing games that may otherwise not have been televised, and with a nationwide audience, allows for displaced fans to now have access to their teams. For more information about ESPN3, please see below.
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com. It is currently available to approximately 70 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks. It is also accessible through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app through an affiliated provider.
ESPN Viewer Response
I don’t know how I got into the queue at their customer service email twice, I didn’t submit it twice, so this was now interesting. If they are trying to get more people to use the internet for entertainment, they should know at least how to use fucking email and CRM packages, which have been around for decades longer than web video. Holy fuck.
So naturally, I replied, with:
Do you have a map? Have you seen the size of Montana? It’s rather large. In fact, it’s the 4th largest state in the union, behind only Alaska, Texas & California.
Have you see the maps from 3 Rivers, Range and Triangle? No? Not surprising, as the areas that they cover are so small that you don’t need a map, you can ask at the post office/bar/church for directions to any place you want to go.
In fact, let me quickly show you the map of Montana with pins showing where these companies are:
Notice that there are no pins in Bozeman, home of the Cats, or Missoula, home of the Griz, nor in any of the other areas that could, really conceivably hold the title of ‘city’ in our rather rural state. Nothing in Kalispell, Billings, Great Falls, Butte, Helena, or any of the other places where rabid fans would be to watch these games.
But, gods be praised, you’ve covered Havre.
Can I be the first to give you a slow, slow clap?
This bit of creative writing slays me: “This year, ESPN3 is delivering the most number of FCS Championship games ever distributed live nationally. The network is also showing games that may otherwise not have been televised, and with a nationwide audience, allows for displaced fans to now have access to their teams. For more information about ESPN3, please see below.“
Montanans have had their football on TV locally since production trucks first existed. In fact, some of those same trucks, with the 55 phone lines coming out of them to connect into the local stations, yes, PHONE LINES WERE USED TO GET TV SIGNALS TO STATIONS FROM THESE TRUCKS, are still in use in the wilds of Montana.
But you’d already know that if you had any care for the fans of Montana Football.
It’s apparent that you don’t. And that’s bad for the fans, bad for the game, and worst of all, bad for the schools.
You need to fix this.
This apparently never actually went anywhere, because instead I got a third response, at 5:02 pm MST that read:
Thank you for your e-mail.
We appreciate you taking the time to write and share your thoughts with us. We have shared your comments with the appropriate personnel for their review and consideration.
ESPN Viewer Response
But you know what I never got? An actual response that made any sense whatsoever. ESPN doesn’t give a shit about Montana, and they are only taking these games because they have to take the whole of the series or have none of it. It’s a fucking mess, and it won’t ever get better until someone with a brain steps in and fixes it.
One would think that it wouldn’t be that hard, seeing as how it’s collegiate football.