Thursday, October 21, 2021

For Want of a Nail

Wikipedia tells me there are many variations of this, so I'll just pick one:

For want of a nail a horseshoe was lost,
for want of a horseshoe a horse went lame,
for want of a horse a rider never got through,
for want of a rider a message never arrived,
for want of a message an army was never sent,
for want of an army a battle was lost,
for want of a battle a war was lost,
for want of a war a kingdom fell,
and all for want of a nail.

Why I am thinking of this today? Well, let me tell you.

For the last umpteen years, NHL games have been televised on "the networks of NBC," meaning mostly NBCSN, sometimes on NBC itself. I get both of those in my cable package, and also subscribe to NHL Network ($), and then during the season I also get Center Ice ($), which covers all the remaining games (for the whole league, not just the Bruins). It gives way more games than I actually need, but means I can watch every Bruins game (if not always from the Bruins/NESN broadcast).

That NBC contract ran out last season, and the league signed a primary deal with ESPN, and a side deal with TNT. So some games will be on those networks, no big deal, right?

Well. Except that some few games are only on ESPN+/Hulu, which are streaming services. So while I have cable to give me ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, NHL Network, even NESN ($) (though it's blacked out for games), and I subscribe to Center Ice ... I still can't get those games.

Well. ESPN+ actually has exclusive written content, too, and I've seen links to hockey stories before that were behind the paywall, so I decide I'll subscribe to that, and this way I'll get those as well as the few games. (I already subscribe to The Athletic for hockey news, but what's one more source of in-depth hockey stories?) 

I subscribe ($). It works on the computer*, but of course I don't want to watch games on the computer, I want to watch on the TV. I go to the TV to get ESPN+ on that, and hit a wall.

*At least, the streaming does, although when I try to read an article, it tells me I need to subscribe to keep reading, even though the drop-down menu shows that I'm logged in. I have to go to the app to read the articles.

There's just no way that I can find to get it there. I google the TV I have and everything says I should go to the app store on the TV and then ... but there is no app store anywhere.

I put out a cry for help on Facebook, and my most tech-savvy friend tells me that if I get a Roku, that will let me get it. Sigh. So I order the Roku ($).

It arrives today. I hook it up to the TV. It powers up! I connect it to the wifi, no problem. And then it makes me set up a Roku account (whyyy). In order to do that, it required my birthday (whyyy) and my GENDER (whyyy) and a credit card (whyyy). I have to choose a password and a PIN. It wants me to tell it my interests and add channels and sign up for free trials and it needs to know what room the device will be in, and it makes me name it (I believe I named it "I fucking hate roku" but I was so mad that I may not be remembering that exactly right). And now I have another damned remote control to juggle (we're up to 4).

All this to get those few games a year ... but damn it, I want those games! It just makes me crazy that this is what's required to get them. The NHL really does think all fans have the money, don't they? I mean, clearly I do, but I know that not everyone does. And I'm mad on their behalf.

Also, I will report back on whether I see noticeably girlie commercials on the streaming games.


AlisonH said...

Yikes! I'm sorry! That's really poor marketing on the hockey folks' part.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Ugh!!! So frustrating to have to go through such a rigamarole!