2012, Basketball, Sports

Fuck you, NCAA

I really mean it: fuck you.

I am a pretty big March Madness fan. I’m not exactly the biggest, but I’m certainly dedicated. And though I don’t exactly directly help your revenue stream, I have consistently watched the licensed Canadian TV providers of the tournament for close to a decade, so I have certainly helped make your latest deal with TSN possible in my own little way.

So I don’t appreciate being treated like I have never watched a game and don’t care.

First I discover that I can only watch games online for $3.99.

It’s a flat fee and I have no complaints about the fee itself. People have been watching games online for free for ages and you want to make some money. I get that. That’s all your organization cares about, as we know, so I get that. It’s a little frustrating that it wasn’t better publicized up here, but okay. I don’t normally watch most of the games online, but I do have to watch some online. I figure, ‘it’s cheaper than the couple pints of beer I’ll drink at the bar: I’ll pay.”

Then I find out not everyone has to pay: if you are a US cable subscriber, you don’t pay.

That’s interesting. I have to think about it for a second. Is this in order to get the people who watch at work to pay? Doesn’t it stand to reason that many of them have cable and so won’t pay? I’m confused.

Then I find out you can watch for free, if you get CokeZero ads to your phone.

Okay, so if you are a US cable subscriber or willing to get spammed by Coke you can watch for free? It turns out you can actually opt out, if you are tech savvy enough to respond to the initial text message from Coke. So, if I am a cable subscriber and / or a text-message-enabled phone owner, I can watch for free, probably without getting spammed by Coke? What is this demographic? Wealthier people? I think so.

So, if you’re richer, you don’t have to pay. If you can’t afford cable, or can’t afford a decent cell phone, or if you have made the lifestyle choice to not have cable or a cell phone or, if you’re like me, a bit of column a and a bit of column b, you have to pay. That makes sense.

But all this outrage is for nothing, because then I found out:

Streaming is only available in the US. TSN will stream the four least interesting games of the tournament (the play-ins last night and the night before) and that is it.

So now in order to watch the tournament at all I must be a Canadian cable subscriber or go to a bar?

Thanks NCAA. You just made my month. How exactly am I going to follow your tournament this year? I certainly am not going to enjoy the games, am I?

I am a fan. I go around telling everyone that this is the greatest sports tournament in the world, and this is how you treat me?

PS: I am really going to enjoy the games because I have relatives and spending-money. But if I didn’t, I would be fucked.

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