COLUMN: The Shawshanked Reduction cuts close to home

Why is it sports fans on the West Coast continue to get shafted by our local cable king?

Why is it sports fans on the West Coast continue to get shafted by our local cable king?

I just got off the phone with a representative from a company I won’t name that rhymes with raw, as is the deal folks in B.C. get when it comes to purchasing extra services.

At the end of last season, our fearless NFL pool administrator, Pigskin Annie, currently sitting in second place, suggested hooking up with the NFL Red Zone, which updates every scoring play from every game all season long.

Recently another poolster, my good friend Quest Field, said he heard it was great from K.C. All The Way and only cost $50 for the season, even though there’s only a few heartbreaking weeks left in this slow motion train wreck of a season for me,  I gave them a call with the bride’s blessing, naively hoping I could get it for half price to figure out if it was worth it for next year.

The rep I dealt with in Winnipeg was courteous enough and had a charming accent, although a little lost regarding the NFL Red Zone.

After another long pause where I was reminded that my call may be recorded for quality control and training purposes, he came back to tell me I would have to pay the full meal $50 because it was out of their control.

After grinding my teeth and pausing because I recognized the warning signs that Rick’s about to launch, I said I’m sorry, but in this day of techno wizardry, you can control it. I added that I was glad the call was being recorded and asked him to please ensure my message got kicked upstairs.

This is the same cable company that discontinued the low definition Habs feed in French for Habs I used to cough up the extra coin for, but still inexplicably shows the game is on in the blue bar at the bottom of the screen.

The same outfit that bars B.C. customers from purchasing 40 game packages for Canadiens, Jets, Oilers, Senators and Leafs games available across the country because, as the extremely polite and patient young lass explained to me last year, they want you to buy the complete Centre Ice package at quadruple the cost. The same company that made you pony up a monthly fee for the NHL games that TSN used to broadcast in its infancy back in the early 1980s while the rest of Canada got them for free.

I finished up my calm by Rickter standards rant by pointing out that there’s a very good reason more satellite dishes are popping up on rooftops everywhere, and thanked him for his polite service. Even though it felt good to get that vent off my chest, it undoubtedly was as effective as taking a whizz in a hurricane.

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Rick Stiebel is a Sooke resident and semi-retired journalist.