Insensitive network jocks force ESPN3 down consumers’ throats

ESPN and ABC have stepped way over the line with Internet-only coverage of selected games on ESPN3.com.

The networks are denying local television stations the ability to carry games they have broadcast for decades. They are also making it difficult to many consumers to see the games at all.

They obviously have little regard for family traditions or the quality of computer broadcasts on ESPN3.com.

Our preferences don't matter to the ESPN and ABC jocks pushing this stuff on us.

Actually, these particular media bullies are totally insensitive to the viewing audience. Consumers either have to watch the games on computer or buy special connections for the television.

That’s assuming, of course that the consumer have a late model TV or a computer with the right connections.

The quality of the broadcasts is inconsistent at best, with long periods of dead air, delayed returns to action, and constant reminders that the action will resume shortly. Viewers are sometimes required to update software in the heat of game action.

We doubt that’s what the Big East Conference had in mind when it signed a contract with ABC/ESPN, giving them a monopoly on game coverage, conference and non-conference. Only after ABC/ESPN decides not to put a game on its family of networks could a local affiliate like WHAS pick up a game.

We know the University of Louisville fans don’t want their football or basketball games on ESPN3.com. The U of L – Arkansas State game may not have been top drawer, but why not let the local station carry the game?  Our preferences don’t matter to the ESPN and ABC jocks pushing this stuff on us.

The convenience and comfort of families and individuals are not a part of the equation.

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

10 thoughts on “Insensitive network jocks force ESPN3 down consumers’ throats

  • October 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm
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    Shut ESPN3 down. Listen to the radio. They already don’t have many sponsors. Shut ’em down.

  • October 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm
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    What you have to understand is that commercial television networks do not exist to serve the viewers.

    Most people think programming is the product, and that they themselves are the customers. Wrong. The customers are the advertisers, and what is being sold is eyeballs – yours and mine. Programming is merely the bait.

    Expecting Disney/ABC/ESPN to have the viewers’ best interests at heart is like expecting Tyson’s to have the chickens’ best interest at heart.

    • October 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm
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      That attitude will turn around and bite them in the butt someday. Can’t wait until it does.

  • October 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm
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    Mike Tyson hates chickens?!?

  • October 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm
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    believe he’s refering to the Tyson’s that make chickens.

  • October 9, 2010 at 8:16 am
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    Maybe Louisville will move to another conference, The Big East now has the words BIG SUCKERS written on their heads. They think they are so smart, I beg to differ. I tied to watch the game, what a huge mistake. I am so fed up with all this crap. I have been a Louisville Cardinal fan for a long time, but am ready to dump it all and take up Jigsaw puzzles. I am sure the Big East would try to put that on ESPN3 also. They need to go back and park their butts at their fancy desk and try to look as smart as they possibly can. They probably can’t even pull that off….LOL. Louisville now belongs to THE BIG SUCKERS now, not THE BIG EAST.

  • October 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm
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    Judging by thd lack of different commercials and even no commercials during some timeouts, I dont think it’s advertising dollars yet, but I think that’s the plan.

    ESPN is just seeing how many of us will watch the crummy product they have now so they know how much money they can charge/make ( in advertising?) once they deliver a quality feed. The takeover, I guess.

  • October 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm
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    Clearly what needs to be done here is to grant the local affliates of the teams involved the access to provide their own broadcast feed and crew. Whether Memphis would have done such for yesterdays game is questionable…but Louisville probably would have stuck Deener and someone behind a microphone and shown it live.

    I had the chance to talk with the ESPN3 guys who did the Louisville vs. Arkansas State game before and after the contest…they were staying at our hotel in Jonesboro. They seemed well prepared in doing their pre-game studying and analyzing of both opponents and were satisfied their presentation after the event.

    Coverage is coverage…accept what they grant but make allowances for the schools involved.

  • October 10, 2010 at 9:01 pm
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    @Paul,

    You actually thought the commentators for the Louisville at Arkansas State game did an acceptable job? I assume that you went to the game and did not actually listen to the coverage, as the commentary was lacking and they were not well prepared. On that point, at least you can go back and watch the game again, as it is on ESPN3…

    As for watching the game on ESPN, I don’t mind as I have all of the required equipment. That being said, it should be an option for people outside of the local market, not an only option, as there is something seriously wrong with having a home game you can’t watch on local television a block away from the stadium (not to mention the CARDS fans that cannot afford a high speed internet connection, and yes they count as well). I can’t wait to see how this pans out when basketball season starts. Are we not going to be able to watch home games on WHAS? If not, things are going to get very interesting indeed.

    • October 11, 2010 at 5:44 am
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      Mattie, you are right…we were in Jonesboro and were going on what friends back in the ‘Ville’ told us about the broadcast. I do plan on going to the “3” and watching the replay.

      I did, however, enjoy talking with the commentators before and after the game. They seemed well prepared to cover the contest…based on the conversation we had that morning and seemed genuinely well pleased with the broadcast when we talked again that night back at the hotel.

      I talked to several people who watched the live feed on the computer and a couple more who watched it in an “establishment” and they were OK with the job the announcers did.

      But, I will review it myself and see. Not sure I want to see that second half again, but I will endure.

      Thanks for commenting.

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