Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The downside of ESPN360

As most of you know by now, the Wake Forest game will be on ESPN360 at 2 PM. Regardless of the spin, this is a step back. Since joining the ACC, every conference game has been on some form of television. Now ESPN U or Raycom meant many BC fans could not see the games, but those games still received full television production. The last BC conference game not on television was Pitt in 2003! We are in an age of unlimited channels. This shouldn't be happening.

ESPN360 is great advancement for the Kent State or Northeastern type games. I'd much rather watch an internet feed than listen to the radio stream (no offense Meter). The technology, consistency and quality of 360 is greatly improved than past years. The problem is that 360 has limited carriage and the transfer to full screens is not as good as a true TV broadcast.

Why are we relegated to 360? It is all about ESPN. Because of their expanded relationship with other conferences (Pac 10, SEC, and some of the lower levels) there are only so many TV slots to go around. The ACC doesn't have another alternate like the Big 10's network. BC is not the only ones subject to this situation. Clemson and Maryland both have attractive home dates that same Saturday that will also be on 360 too.

At this time the ACC really has no alternatives. I am sure an outlet like NESN would love to produce and broadcast the game, but that won't happen. ESPN won't release the games to anyone else. Since future weekends won't be so crowded, things will improve a bit as the season wears on. Coverage will also improve if BC keeps winning. They better keep winning or BC fans will keep whining.


downtown_resident said...

Agree 100%, ATL. The worst part is that the problem goes even deeper. Because ESPN has chosen to freeze out certain internet providers from carrying espn360, the reality is that our games are completely unavailable in large parts of the country.

Our local alumni chapter, which held gamewatches for every televised BC game the last four seasons, will end up having only one gamewatch during the first month of the season.

Gene D and the ACC need to address this issue head on. Either ESPN allows anyone with a computer to access espn360 (hell, I'd pay for it if I were allowed) or they get an ACC network off the ground by 2010. The status quo runs the risk of seriously damaging BC football.

BCMike said...

"Because ESPN has chosen to freeze out certain internet providers from carrying espn360."

It's basically just like cable TV. The ISP has to pay to be able to carry ESPN360. The ISP's that are not carrying ESPN360 are choosing not to carry it because they don't want to pay.

Unknown said...

I really feel that NESN should carry the BC games that are only on 360. I'm sure they'd be willing to pay a bit to ESPN, and its not really like ESPN is making a lot of money off its 360. One would think they'd be happy to sublicense it out. Mutually beneficial situation.

TheFive said...

You would think that ESPN would sell the ESPN 360 games to a local network -- NESN in the New England area -- similar to how it produced and then sold the broadcast rights to ESPN PLUS games in the past.

AguilaFan said...

downtown, there is an easy way for EVERYONE to get ESPN360. Last Saturday a bunch of us watched the game on a 200" screen. I had a laptop going also for the parts where the group wanted our own replays.

I posted this on a board.

Go here and see if your system or a system of someone you know is on the list: http://espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/affList
 ESPN360 charges the cable systems for the "service"; hence not all cable systems carry it. They are rejecting ESPN's business model. Big fight.
 Once a subscriber (SUB) on a ESPN360 system logs onto ESPN and goes to the ESPN360 site, and activates REMOTE ACCESS, that SUB now follows these steps when not at home:
2. sign-in to ESPN with the same userID and password used on home system
3. click on the small ESPN360 logo
4. click on an event to view
5. if a red box pops up asking for the cable system originally used to register
6. selects it from the pull down box. May have to reenter Username and Password. That's normal.
7. if on a pc/nb that has never seen ESPN360, then a black window will appear with an Install Procedure for MovePlayer, a 1.6 MB file
8. once installed, (about 2-5 minutes) another window will open with ESPN360 LOADING
9. In the upper right corner, you will see the corporate logo of the "home" cable system
That SUB can now "share" his userID and Password with family and friends THAT DO NOT HAVE ESPN360 on their cable system. Enjoy
Want to install the file on pc or nb? Go here: http://www.movenetworks.com/install-move-player
I am guessing that is ESPN's way of tracking usage metrics. Was told that my taking a notebook into a commercial establishment (bar), setting up the notebook to cable/wireless, and viewing ESPN360 was fine to me. Even could connect to a TV or HDTV so more folks could watch. They don't care.
My username ID and password is being used by 12 folks. NONE OF THEM HAS HAD A PROBLEM AND NONE OF THEM HAVE AN ESPN360 CABLE SYSTEM. And they are far, far away from the original cable system (ISP).
"You have to have one of the selected partners". TRUE, only to set up the REMOTE ACCESS. After that one-time set-up, it no longer matters.

ESPN360 Service told me it is "free"; hence, they have no problem with it being shown in a commercial establishment.

Erik said...

The irony for me is I used to complain about ESPNU and CBS College. now I get both networks, but BC ain't on ESPNU anymore.

I think it hurts recruiting. Kids want to check out our games and can't.

ATL hit the nail on the head that if we keep winning we'll be on TV, but that is the frustration of a misinformed national media writing off the private school from New England where they don't play "real football." It's an uphill battle from the get-go and we have to prove ourselves, guilty until proven innocent.

If the ACC overall wasn't bombing, this wouldn't be happening, its donkeys like NC State and UVA hurting us here.

How does it work that some games are on Raycom (& ch 38) and some are tied to ESPN family?

Matt said...

Wait, does this mean that it won't be available via DirectTV at all?

Big Jack Krack said...

If it's not on local TV and we can't fill the stadium, we're in trouble.

As for more national coverage - this stinks as well.

Erik - the NC State game this year will be very tough. Even though they lost to South Carolina, they are pretty good this year, and I don't think they are one of the teams that are bombing. Virginia for sure - and Maryland always starts slow. Duke - who knows, but they always seem to lose to a sub-division team to start off the season.

Of the 12 teams, we're ranked 8th or 9th right now - we don't think this is fair, but that's the reality.

Most people think we'll get blown out this Saturday - I don't.

This is our opportunity to go in there with a chip on our shoulders and shock the writers. While Clemson fans are probably pretty confident, THEY know that BC will bring game.

We have to win to get on tv - whether we like it or not, that's the situation we're in right now.

downtown_resident said...

BCMike, I know of no other web service that has chosen ESPN's business model. And that's good. As consumers, we really shouldn't want the internet to go the way of cable where we're forced to pay for content that we don't want (personally I watch maybe 5-7 of the 70+ channels available through my cable plan, but I pay for all 70+).

But ESPN's strategy is not my point. Knowing that the espn360 "network" only reaches certain segments of the country-- if it's available in 50% of the country I'd be surprised-- the ACC and BC cannot sit back and accept the status quo.

Groundhog said...

i guess i never paid much attention to the broadcast schedule, but did they always wait so long to make a determination on the time and tv network? is the florida state game only going to be a night game if its on espn?

eagleboston said...

Is the Clemson game on ESPN 360? If not, how can I watch it if I am outside the Raycom viewing area? I've only missed about 3 BC games in the past 3 years and BC-Clemson is always down to the wire.

Erik said...

Shakim Phillips -- great get BC!!!

eagleboston said...

I just checked. Saturday's game is on 360.

BCDisco said...

AguilaFan, thanks for the info. I was wondering if you could make that just a little more complicated. I'm not 100% confused yet, maybe only 90%.


What does this mean? Am I doing this on my PC? If so, what does that have to do with my cable provider?

Big Jack Krack said...

eagleboston - The Clemson game is on TV-38 in Boston, I believe - with the pre-game starting at 11:30am.

Big Jack Krack said...


Big Jack Krack said...

Excerpt from the Clemson Official Athletic Wesite (They are not worried about the running game at all):

"Boston College, pure and simple, has to have an effective forward passing game or they will lose…and bad. The offensive line will be the key as Clemson Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele finally gets to debut his aggressive blitzing scheme against the Eagles. With Tuggle or Shinskie on their backs too often, BC will not be represented well on the scoreboard."

Go BC - let's show these guys how tough we really are!!!

Deacon Drake said...

What I find suspicious is that BC is receiving 19 (possibly undeserved) votes in the AP poll, and a total of... zero in the ESPN poll. Not one coach, not one, saw BC roll off an 88-0 run to start the season and thought, "What the heck, they might be good." Way too hard to believe, especially when you see some of the teams getting votes.

I have always thought that ESPN has way too much influence over college football. CBS does not have officials in the selection room on Sunday, making sure specific teams who are best suited to bring in ratings and advertisers get into the field.

Right now, ESPN seems to have made it cool to bash the ACC... a couple years ago, it was the Big East taking the brunt of the criticism. Until ESPN feels that BC/Wake can bring in the same money as a crappy SEC game or Big10 game, it will be relegated to the 360. It is all about the money.

This is what we get for going to a school that gives us an education, not an excuse to tailgate.

Eagle in Brighton said...

I know these are just committments, which can be loose, but stud WR Shakim Phillips supposidely just joined the the class of 2010...

eagleboston said...

Deacon Drake,

Don't worry about polls. They are merely popularity contests and don't truly reflect how good a team is. Further, if BC keeps winning, they will be ranked. On the other side of the coin, if they lose Saturday, this whole point is moot.

Unknown said...

The weird thing is, we had three votes in the coaches' poll to start. We beat Northeastern 54-0, nobody changes their mind, we stay at three votes (or if someone did switch, the net effect was still 0). Then we beat Kent State handily, and we lose them all. That don't make no sense.

BCDisco said...

"That don't make no sense."

Neither does deciding the national champion by voting for it. But hey, we do that too.

Unknown said...

It's true, its all true.

Deacon Drake said...

@eagleboston: Yeah... I agree that the polls are a farce and that readers of this blog are probably as qualified to vote as the people voting.

Still frustrating to see that cycle in effect: ACC perceived as down, gets minimal coverage, BC crushes two teams in a vacuum, voters don't see it, ACC perceived as down... etc.

BCDoubleEagle said...

I would like to see a poll in which no one votes until after the season. Under the current system, pollsters make random rankings in August before any games have been played and just adjust them accordingly throughout the season, so the final poll is just a modification of the preseason poll. Weird.

The Midnight Lumberjack said...

What's the deal with ESPN GamePlan? We're on there v/s Clemson. It's Pay-Per-View, and it says its $24 a weekend. Why don't the bars and alumni chapters who claim to host these "Gamewatches" pony up the cost of a round of beers and treat the fans to broadcast quality? (I'm talking to you Still in NYC) Am I missing something?

Brad said...

Clemson game is on 360 but also on ESPN gameplan, which has progressively become more of a rip off over the years, not just because of the price but also the number and quality of games. Since I don't have their full schedule, I have no idea whether I should buy the $24 one time only or the $129 season pass. By week 5 they'll be showing about 5 games a weekend down from 10-15.
I will still pay it to see the eagles play here in NOLA

Lenny Sienko said...

"My username ID and password is being used by 12 folks."

We could increase that number exponentially; but you forgot to give them.

Let us know your email and you can start your own network.

Big Jack Krack said...

Go BC - we can do this!

Dabo Swinney's press conference was interesting.

Does Boston College do anything unique? "No. Here they are, come get you some. They are what they are and do what they do. They don't try to trick anybody. They line up and play sound, fundamental football. They have pressures and they will have NCAA blitzes. They are not exotic by any means. They don't give you huge opportunities as far as getting behind them, so you have to take advantage of those chances when they do come. That is something I think we have done a good job of in the past against these guys. We have gotten behind them a time or two, but most of our big plays against these guys have come when we have just gotten in space and guys made a play."

On seeing CJ and Jacoby's speed in high school: "I have never seen anyone as fast as Jacoby. I have seen some Spiller speed in my day, but Jacoby speed is another deal. The interesting thing is you can tell how fast CJ is when you watch him, but you can't with Jacoby. He is such a powerful, smooth runner. Speed is a hard thing to coach against and we have to continue to recruit those guys. These two guys are just blazing fast and they take a lot of pride in it. I think track has been great for them. I think our track coaches have done and super job and they get a lot of confidence from that."

AguilaFan said...

Alex L.,
"I'm not 100% confused yet, maybe only 90%." Did you mean 10%?

""opens ESPN on a NON-ESPN360 CABLE SYSTEM.""
means a cable system that does not offer ESPN360 to it's internet subscribers.
Yes you are doing this on your PC. That is where ESPN360 is "transmitted".
Most folks that have cable also get their internet service from cable.
You may have cable but not internet service. Unless you had a hand is setting up the cable and internet, you may not be aware of what is what.

Do this.
Go to www.ESPN.com
Upper middle of screen,under the scores, you will see ESPN360. Click it. There you go.

No need.
Just hook up with someone with ESPN360 available on their cable system and follow the guide.