NHL.TV blackouts are stupid, un-American, and anti-consumer

I signed up for NHL.TV again. Unlike past seasons, this time I chose the monthly plan. I’ll end up paying more for the 2018-19 season as a whole, but this gives me the flexibility to cancel before the 19th of each month. This ability will come in handy if I find myself not watching it, something I’ve been known to do when it comes to paid streaming services.

NHL.TV blackouts are stupid, un-American, and anti-consumer - Bent Corner
This is what normal human beings pay. I am not normal.

I’m paying $16.24 a month for NHL.TV compared to the $24.99 normal human beings pay. They gave me a discount because I’m a veteran and I signed up with ID.me, a free service that confirms a person’s military service and then provides a way of getting discounts with various vendors. It’s one of the few perks I get serving close to ten years in the Air Force. That, and a VA loan.

Blackouts are terrible and should be outlawed

NHL.TV blackouts are stupid, un-American, and anti-consumer - Bent Corner

One of the drawbacks of NHL.TV is you cannot watch live games in your geographic location. That means I cannot watch live Washington Capitals games. Thanks to the NHL’s blackout rules, I have to wait a whopping 48 hours to watch a Caps game. To get around this issue, I could get a subscription to Yonder. It allows you to change your geographical location to get around those pesky blackout rules. The only problem is I have a Roku connected to the living room TV and Roku is the only streaming device that doesn’t work with Yonder.

Blackouts are stupid and un-American. I’m paying for a premium service albeit at a discounted price. I should be able to enjoy all the premium service I’m paying for. I don’t even get the TV channel Washington Capitals games are normally shown on. Even though I pay Dish extra to get local channels, the local sports channels are not included. It get access to the local sports channels, I have to pay for a national sports package filled with channels I don’t want and would never watch.

Cable and satellite will soon join Toys R Us in the ash heap of history

NHL.TV blackouts are stupid, un-American, and anti-consumer - Bent Corner

Eventually, we will all get our TV programming from streaming services. The current system is dusty and antiquated. The cable and satellite providers insist on bundling channels together, making consumers pay more for the product they really want. It would be like going to the store because you wanted to buy a new shirt. To get the shirt in the size you need, you’re told you have to buy not only the shirt, but a pair of pants, a pair of shoes, a tie, and a pair of socks. You can only buy the shirt in a bundle. When you try to explain to the store clerk the pants, shoes, and socks aren’t the correct size and you don’t wear ties, you’re told unfortunately they don’t sell shirts individually.

You walk out of the store with the shirt you need, but also with pants, socks, shoes, and a tie you don’t want or need.

Most if not all TVs sold today are so-called smart TVs. That just means you can watch streaming services on them without having to use an external streaming device like a Roku. I’ve never understood how that makes a TV smart. I can remember when you could buy 19″ CRT TVs with a built-in VCR. I don’t remember anyone calling those smart TVs. The thing is, those were just as smart as today’s crop of smart TVs.

NHL.TV blackouts are stupid, un-American, and anti-consumer - Bent Corner
An old-school TV with a built-in VCR.

The point is, TVs today and in the future are built to stream. Eventually, they won’t even have a coax input connector protruding out the back. For me, that day cannot come soon enough.

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Rick Rottman

My name is Rick Rottman and I live in Maryland. This is my blog. If you'd like to know more about me, check out my About page.

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