Just minutes before the start of last night's Red Sox-Mariners game, I was doing some channel surfing on my TV waiting for the game to start. I have Verizon FIOS, and I really like it (and recommend it).
I discovered that they recently added NESN to my service, and I was really excited, thinking that I would not have to watch any other teams ' feeds on MLB Extra Innings when the Red Sox are on the road. (Extra Innings always broadcasts NESN when the Red Sox are at home, and some times on the road.)
But to my chagrin, as the game was starting in Seattle, I was still seeing other programming on NESN. ("The Dennis and Callahan Show" from WEEI.) I decided to investigate this and wound up on NESN's web site, where I discovered that due to MLB's inane "rules", they can't show Red Sox games outside New England on my system.
From NESN's site:
NESN does not have the right to distribute many Red Sox and Bruins-related programs outside of
our home broadcast territory due to MLB and NHL broadcast regulations. This includes live game broadcasts, rebroadcasts of Red Sox games, classic Red Sox games and any non-news program which includes a significant amount of game highlights. When one of these programs is airing in NESN’s home broadcast territory, NESN National cable subscribers can watch other NESN programs during these times.
In the immortal words of Colonel Potter: what a load of horse hockey this is.
Not only can't I watch Red Sox games on "NESN National", but I can't watch anything even remotely connected to the Red Sox and their game highlights.
Then why bother adding NESN to my system at all?
Granted I can watch most NESN broadcasts, but it would have been really nice to eliminate many of those other teams feeds. Of course, I wouldn't have been able to do anything when the Sox play the Yankees except mute my TV.
(One good thing from NESN yesterday: Tim Wakefield will be added as an in-studio NESN analyst, beginning on Saturday night.)
I've heard from other bloggers about the problems of those Red Sox fans in Fairfield County, Connecticut that pulls the same crap, because it's considered "Yankee and Mets territory." It's not just a problem here, but all over the US. Here's an interesting article about how fans across the country are getting screwed by these arcane TV blackout rules.
Thanks for getting my hopes up for a few minutes last night, NESN. Humbug.