Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What BC fans can do about ESPN U

BC's opener is on ESPN U. It is also likely that one or two more games will also be on ESPN's college channel. If you looked at the basketball schedule, you probably noted a few ESPN U games on there too. Given the ACC's relationship with ESPN, the ESPN U games are not going away. For those of you without ESPN U on your local cable system, that is a problem. Outside of game watches and pestering your cable operator, there are two alternatives.

Satellite: We switched to DirecTV six years ago after a horrible experience with Comcast. It was one of the best decisions we've ever made. I've had access to every sport package imaginable and had very good customer service. ESPN U is part of DirecTV's expanded sports pack. I believe it is also easily available on Dish Network. The sports pack costs an additional $12 a month but that is easily rationalized if you think of the costs of going to a bar. If your cable company is not adding ESPN U anytime soon, I highly recommend DirecTV.

Phone companies: In many areas of the country, your local phone company now offers full TV packages. For many fans in New England and New York, the best bet is Verizon FIOS. Verizon carries ESPN U. AT&T also has their own TV service in certain areas but their default tends to be DirecTV. Qwest seems to refer their users to DirecTV.

If readers have other suggestions or reviews of these different services, leave a comment.

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16 Comments:

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Jakmut said...

Another option is Slingbox. That is if you know people in the Boston area or you want access to DirectTV while travelling. http://www.slingmedia.com/
And no I do not work for Sling Media. It is something I am considering for BC basketball, football and the weekly BC show on NESN. Living in Washington state I get limited east coast coverage.

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger nomisto said...

I switched to Verizon FIOS (both TV and Broadband) about a year ago, and I absolutely love it. I find the picture quality is substantially better with FIOS on my HDTV, and my internet speed is noticably faster. And my TV/Broadband package ended up being cheaper! The only drawback is that the installation can be a whole day affair - but once you have it, you will never go back.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Gingerbread Mann said...

Does anyone know if the games will be on ESPN360.com? I get that but not ESPNU. And I'm not switching. I remember the UMass game last year was on ESPN360 so maybe some of this years' games will be as well.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Looking forward a little bit - will the Georgia Tech game be televised? I didn't see it listed the last time I checked.

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger donz said...

Agree wholeheartedly about DirecTV, ATL. However, when I contacted DirecTV today they said that they had "no plans" to carry ESPNU in HD, which launches this week.

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Eagle1 said...

1. Does anyone know which service WILL carry ESPNU in HD (which probably won't matter for a while b/c these games still need to be filmed by HD cameras)?

2. What are the downsides to leaving Comcast?

3. Of The Dish, Direct TV, and FIOS, is one heads and shoulders above the other?

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

does RCN carry ESPNU in the boston area or are they planning on adding it soon?

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger Alex F. said...

My parents switched from Comcast to Verizon about 6 months ago and haven't looked back. I highly, HIGHLY recommend the FIOS service.

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger DComito said...

I siwtched to Fios about 18 months ago. It is significantly better than Comcast and $600 cheaper per year vs. what I paid Comcast. Only downside is fewer free On Demand options but it is rapidly improving that area as well.

 
At 2:01 AM, Blogger Darius said...

Eagle1, it looks like both DISH and DTV are going to have it in HD. Neither has released a statement as to WHEN they'll have it up, though. Almost certainly not before Saturday. Really, that doesn't matter, though--they're not going to send HD cameras to Cleveland for a game involving Kent State. Just as a blind and irrelevant guess, I'll say DISH gets it first, based on how they've dealt with ESPN's packages and the College Sports network in the past. I'm surprised to read that you need to subscribe to a special sports package to get ESPNU on DTV. On DISH, it's just part of the 3rd-tier programming package.

 
At 2:44 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I will be able to get this on campus, right? Otherwise I'll stay home an extra day where I do have ESPNU. I mean, we don't get ESPNU on campus, but would we get it on another channel? It would be sad if you couldn't get the BC football game at BC.

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Eagle1 said...

Alan:

I have a friend who works for the Athletics Dept. He is as frustrated as we are. He says the following re: where students can watch: "We have a satellite feed set-up on O'Neill Plaza so the students can watch."

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger Eagle1 said...

FIOS is not available in South Boston, and Verizon was not able to tell me when it might become available.

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Thanks for the info Eagle1, seems like BC should do a bit more then that to get the game to everyone though.

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger Eagle1 said...

Alan:

Allegedly, the school is doing what it can. When it joined the ACC, it gave up a lot of leverage that it had previously with ABC/ESPN. Now, the ACC does the talking when it comes to TV contracts. Why ESPN doesn't switch the game to ESPNClassic, which everyone gets, is beyond me.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger K-Man said...

If you have RCN in Newton/Needham the game is on Channel 79.

Amazing becuase when I called RCN they had no clue, but just checked my house and it will be available.

GO EAGLES!

 

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