Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How I celebrated the Tennis Channel’s victory

It’s been years of my paying the cable company for the privilege of watching tennis on a regular basis. This has long felt to me like a violation of some kind of basic right. I’ve felt caught up in the nightmare of corporate greed.

What made it worse is that I was never interested in any other channel but the Tennis Channel. So other than the initial free trial of a couple of premium movie channels, I’ve really spent the past few years paying through my teeth for the privilege of watching tennis.

For a while I considered transferring to a satellite company but found out that, like my cell phone, I was locked into a contract that did not prevent the cable company from raising its prices but prevented me from going anywhere. And then the contract ended but by then I simply got so used to paying for tennis that I simply continued to do so.

And now come news that the Tennis Channel has won in its battle against the cable giant, Comcast. The Tennis Channel successfully argued that Comcast was being discriminatory in its practices by showcasing Versus and the Golf Channel but placing obstacles against more viewers being able to watch the Tennis Channel by charging for it.

Now Comcast is required to show the Tennis Channel as part of its basic line-up. That decision alone is estimated to attract some 50 million more viewers to the Tennis Channel, which can only advance the growth of this sport that we all love so much.

This is good news. I celebrated by gifting myself a house and a satellite dish. Now I can watch the Tennis Channel to my heart’s content – to be fair I was doing this anyway – but it is costing me so much less! I celebrated further by toasting a glass of wine to corporate fairness.

Comcast has of course disagreed with the new ruling by the FCC. It plans to appeal the decision on the grounds that the fact of a cost to consumers is not evidence of discrimination. And indeed we really shouldn’t celebrate too soon because there is a window of 50 days before the ruling becomes final.

50 days vs. 50 million tennis fans. I know which decision your average sports fan would make. I am confident that tennis fans everywhere would like to be able to do like golf fans and tune into their favorite sports channel whenever they feel like it without having to pay anything for doing so.

But I also know that these cable giants don’t give up easily. I had to call like five times and remain on hold for over two hours in order to cancel my service. As I waited I had to endure a barrage of ads telling me why the cable company was superior to everyone else. But it was all worth it to get out of their greedy grasp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I watch all of the tennis that I want to for free. Go to www.streamhunter.tv Early round matches, challenger matches and all of the WTA and ATP matches, including Wimbledon...LIVE! Of course, YouTube carries many of the matches for months AFTER they've been played. So, if the FCC takes it away, remember that the Streamhunter and atdhe.net options are there.