Posted by: KCJones on October 12th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Last year (in about June) I tried an experiment. I cancelled ALL my TV service and bought a big screen TV that could connect to Wi-Fi, had a Netflix app, and had a built in UPNP/DLNA client. I also subscribed to Playon.tv, a service that runs on your computer and connects to all sorts of online content and videos (ESPN3, YouTube, Hulu, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, Nickelodeon, Netflix, etc.). It then makes that content available over Wifi via UPNP, which my TV can pick up. I also set up utorrent via an rss feed read to download content I wanted, which Playon can also see on the hard drive and serve up. Along with that it can serve up my Home videos, family pictures and my ripped DVD library off the hard drive. All of a sudden, I have all the on-demand television content I would ever want at the tip of my remote control without paying for any TV service!! I loved it. There were also iOS and Android apps for playon so I could easily watch everything on my phones and tablets too.
It was too good to last, however. October arrived. Jazz season.
I had to watch my Jazz. So let’s see. NBA has league pass, which makes games available online. Maybe playon could somehow connect to that stream and make it available to my TV, right? Wrong. Ok, ok then. I’m willing to sign up for NBA league pass to watch my Jazz! Might not be on the TV, but my computer screen is decent. That’s perfect, right? I really don’t want a huge sports package when the only team I want to watch is the Jazz, and I really don’t want to pay for all the other TV that I already have access to for free. Thank goodness for this League Pass, right? Let’s just sign up here on League Pass…wait, what?! What is this!? EVERY Jazz game is BLACKED OUT on NBA LP in my area because I’m in the local Jazz market??? WTF?
Thanks for ‘male chicken-blocking’ (edited for content) technological progress, NBA. So now my options are to pay Dish Network some money, pay DirectTV some money, pay Comcast some money, and/or pay way too much to sit way too far away while I get sponsorships stuffed down my throat every possible second that the game action is not happening. Awesome.
And even while I gave in to the evil schemes of the price-fixing moneygrubbers and signed up for Dish Network, I’m holding on to my resentment. And just a warning to those out there that force this choice upon me: resentment builds over time, and I’m not blind to the facts of what you’re doing, you bastages.
But wait, there’s more. So I got my Dish Network HD and DVR set up for the Jazz season. Besides watching every game on TV, I attended two games last year. One on row 8 versus the Clippers (the game we won) and one in the upper bowl. And again, times are changing and I think the NBA is slow to keep up with the times and are holding on to what they are used to rather than embracing the future. The gap has become considerably narrower in the quality of the game-watching experience between staying home versus going to the game. IMO, I think watching at home (at least in the regular season) has edged ahead of attending the game. Here’s why:
1. Giant HD TV – better view than all but closest seats
2. Avoid commercials – start game off the DVR halfway through
3. Comfy couch, not hard plastic chair with no foot room
4. Less expensive food right in your own fridge
5. No annoying Celtics fans sitting next to you getting drunk and clacking their clackers non-stop that someone in the Jazz organization thought would be a good idea to give away
6. No drive through traffic and paying for parking
7. You control instant replays, you can pause the game to pee or whatever
8. Interact with other fans/analysts on twitter > moron fans next to you at games
9. Fast wifi access for checking up on other league scores and games online
The biggest problem IMO of the live game? It seems like the Jazz organization doesn’t give a crap about the game. It’s like the game has become second fiddle to telling you about this product, or that product, or this company or that company. It’s like attending an infomercial with breaks for some sport action in between plugging different sponsors and their products. I got more commercials shoved down my throat than watching on live TV. Honestly, it was terribly off-putting. Now, I realize the two games I attended were in the regular season. I’m sure the playoffs have a little bit more focus on the importance of the actual game action, right? Right?
So truth be told, I’m pretty frustrated with the lack of vision here. If it were up to me, I’d make the game experience top-notch. Differentiate it from the home experience on DVR TV. Make it more intimate, more comfortable. Make it be about the game and the game experience, NOT a constant stream of product and sponsor plugs with little or no mention of the game. The key to all that is the sense of belonging to a group of fans as passionate about the game as you are. With TV these days, I question the need for an upper bowl at all. Make analysis content and fan-sharing available over wifi in real-time during the game. Who doesn’t have a smartphone or a tablet these days? Broadcast the play-by-play of David Locke or at least a headphone jack on the seats where you can get it. Make it worth the drive, the parking, the higher price to attend a game rather than watch it in HD at home on your comfortable couch.
Anyway I’ve ranted/rambled on for a bit too long about my frustrations with watching today’s NBA and my Jazz. But I’d love to hear everyone else’s thoughts.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.