Saturday, October 11, 2008

Irish v. Tar Heels OR Boilers v. Buckeyes? WTF?

One of the great weekly rituals for Notre Dame fans around the country whenever the Irish are on the road playing a game that is owned by ABC is the search for the "coverage map" that shows which games will be aired in which regions on ABC and ESPN. Lucky Irish fans will find that their region is getting the game for free on one of those two channels. Unlucky fans get the bad news that the game will not be aired in their region. Here's the bad news for Irish fans in Orange County this week.

But all is not lost! Those unlucky fans have a couple of choices. They can shell out $21.95 to get the game of their choice, PLUS a bunch of other games that they likely have zero interest in, by subscribing to ESPN Game Plan for the week through their cable company. Woo Hoo! Or they can go to a Notre Dame "game watch" event hosted by their local Notre Dame club, much like the events sponsored the Notre Dame Club of Orange County.

I'm going to bite the bullet and go with the ESPN Game Plan, but first I wanted to check the program guide on my TV to make sure the coverage maps and my cable company (Cox) are on the same page. 12:30 p.m., ESPN HD channel 715, and there it is! "Notre Dame vs. North Carolina OR Ohio State vs. Purdue." WTF?

So which is it? Am I getting the Irish for free on ESPN HD, or am I getting OSU blowing up Purdue? A quick call to Cox will surely clear this up. Nope. My friendly Cox customer service representative tells me that even THEY don't know which game they're getting from ABC until game time. So I can order the game plan (non refundable!) now and maybe find out I've wasted $21.95 at 12:30, or I can wait until Ohio State v. Purdue is getting pumped into my house and jump on the phone, wait on hold, order the game, and wait for it to load and probably start watching the Irish halfway through the first quarter. Great.

Yeah, I ordered the game. So if ABC/ESPN pumps the Irish into the OC despite what the "coverage map" says I'm totally screwed. By the way, if I get the game for free on ESPN HD I get to watch it in Hi-Def. But if I have to watch the pay-per-view game on Game Plan, it won't be a Hi-Def signal! Pay more for a crappier product! What a bargain.

There has to be a better way to do this.

I blame Mark May.


trey said...

If youre in the coverage area for OSU/Pur, youre getting that one. Your other option is to get a satellite that carries an "alternate" channel as well that has the NC/ND game which is what Im doing.

Anonymous said...

If you have verizon you can get it on