My family and I recently moved, and when we moved we decided not to get cable or satellite hooked up at the new residence. At the time of the move, this decision was based on finances. The budget was going to be tight and we felt that television was not a high enough priority to justify the cost. Since then our financial situation has improved to the point that we could afford to go with a cable or satellite provider.
You would think that a person who uses the handle sportsdrenched would have to have all the ESPNs, every Regional Sports Network, NBC Sports Talk, CBS Sports Network, and a myriad of other sports channels available to a person who immerses themselves in the world of sports. This might have been true for me a few years ago. Since then I have realized I don’t have time for that much programming anyway and in essence I was paying for something I did not use. Kind of like a land phone line. I don’t pay for that anymore either. As I have gone through the past seven weeks I have realized I actually enjoy this new set-up. Consider I did not get bombarded with constant Tim Tebow news, nor have I heard or seen anything related to Peyton Manning. I see comments on message boards complaining about ESPN’s saturation coverage of anything that it does. Since I don’t have access to ESPN I don’t feel the need to complain about it.
It’s not like I don’t get my share of opining in the sports world. I have a longer commute than most, and on a good weather day I can get four different sports radio stations, and a fifth does a sports show in the evenings. There is Twitter, there is Facebook, not to mention FOX, CBS, SI, ESPN, NBC..anyone who is anyone in sports media maintains an extensive website. I haven’t even mentioned the idiots like myself who blog about sports. What I’m saying is, there is enough free sports content that no one should have to pay your cable/satellite provider for it.
That’s not to say I haven’t dropped some coin to get access to the stuff I want access to. For the cost of two months of a mid-range cable package I subscribed to MLB.tv. I’ve stated before that I’d rather listen or watch games than listen or watch people talk about games. Streaming baseball games lets me watch games. For the past month that’s all I’ve done with my TV watching time. Ok, so I watched some Olympics, but even that was actual events, not experts breaking down events.
I have thought about the change of seasons with baseball winding down and football starting up. Most of the football games I watch are on over the air channels anyway. For anything else there is ESPN3. Yes I get that it’s still ESPN but it comes with my internet package and its not half as obnoxious. It’s just games. If it’s not on ESPN3 I’ll just have to find it on the radio. If it’s not on the radio I’ll just go without and read Sports Illustrated. I have also contemplated streaming NHL games, but I must determine which NHL broadcast territory I’m in so I know which team will be blacked out. If the Avalanche are blacked out here I probably won’t sign up for this. The rest of the winter sports I’ll be content to watch what is on over the air.
This brings me to the one draw back I have found with this entertainment set-up. Because I am in the Royals broadcast area their games are blacked out on MLB.tv. I do have the option of going back and watching 90 minutes after the game is over, but I rarely have the time for that. I get by with the radio, and picking up highlights once they’re posted to various websites. Once or twice I have gone back and watched an archived game. This is the only part I’m not sure about. If anything gets me to sign up for cable/satellite again not being able to watch the Royals live will be it. Of course, if you beleive this article, one day I might be able to watch the Royals without paying for ESPN or anything else we don’t want.