Monday, February 04, 2008

France downs Scotland

France defeated Scotland yesterday in first-round Six Nations play, winning 27-6 at Murrayfield.

I'd like to say I watched the game, but only saw it in bits & pieces.

Once again, the mental midgets at Setanta, in their infinite wisdom, scheduled the match to broadcast on tape-delay in North America directly opposite the 2nd-half of the live NFL Superbowl. That meant I caught bite-sized chunks of the game during Superbowl commercials.

I am beginning to think the monthly $14.99 fee for Setanta service is a colossal joke for rugby fans, despite Setanta banner adverts running atop my blog advertising "live international rugby fixtures." Yeah, right. Setanta is not only doing the rugby viewer an enormous disservice -- call me paranoid, paint me persecuted -- but I am beginning to believe Setanta is deliberately screwing us to twist our arms and make us buy their prohibitively expensive PPV fees to watch the games live.

Mid-day yesterday ET was a perfectly acceptable block of time to schedule the England vs. Wales test, but instead Setanta ran a block of self-promotion and then a repeat of the same *tape-delayed* Liverpool vs. Sunderland EPL match that viewers got to see *live* less than 24 hours earlier. Surely that match could have played opposite the Superbowl, instead of the Six Nations test matches. Nope, not in the Setanta brain, it won't.

To compound matters, when Setanta did televise the *tape-delayed* England vs. Wales test, they ran it without the pre-game, minus all the halftime analysis and highlights, and missing the post-match. So, you're not merely getting the matches late; you're not merely getting them scheduled opposite the Superbowl; to top it off they are getting out the scalpel and giving you less of the actual match broadcast. Puh-farking-thetic.

For the service we're getting, and at the cost they are asking, it might be high time to get back on the bit-torrent bandwagon. Setanta, you are failing us.


At 11:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an idea - don't watch the Super Bowl or any of the other NFL games. Problem soved.

At 11:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's actually an incredibly lame solution. Thanks.

At 12:04 AM , Blogger Dave said...

I played football (gridiron) as well as rugby (union and league). I actually prefer all codes -- even soccer (which I also played). Most of the rugby players I know in N. America played football. I prefer rugby, but I still like football, and obviously I am not alone. About 98 million Americans watched the Superbowl the other night, as did I, and by any standard it was one of the best football championships you could ever see. That television share was enormous. I haven't seen Setanta's ratings, but I suspect even amongst subscribers their share would've been comparatively lesser, and probably inordinately lower thna usual. (Setanta will no doubt exploit that share to convince us that nobody, not even their subscribers, is interested in rugby.)

Many football fans enjoy rugby, and vice-versa -- for clearly obvious reasons. Clearly obvious to everybody except Setanta and narrowminded NFL cynics. Not much I can do about the latter, but since I am an actual subscriber to the former, I'll say exactly what I think about the crap service that I am paying for. That's my right, as indeed it's every bit my right to tell others that bit-torrent sites probably offer as good a deal as Setanta, and maybe better, being that the turnaround times of bit-torrent sites are quicker; viewing options are more variable; and best of all, it's free.

I spent months promoting Setanta - for free. They even run banner ads atop my blog promoting "live international rugby on my tv." Since that's mostly a steaming pile of b.s., I feel obliged to set readers straight. Since I am actually paying for Setanta's service, and since Setanta has failed to respond to the last three enquiries I have made to them, I don't feel the slightest bit of shame kicking them in the testicles, and I'll kick them hard, because they deserve it.

I submit that MOST sports fans of ANY and ALL codes prefer to watch big matches -- be they NFL championshp games or interational test matches -- live. So, given the choice between a live event and one that is 30 hours old, I'll opt for the live match, as indeed did all my friends, including my rugby pals. I suppose I could have been a loser and spent the evening alone watching a taped rugby match; instead, I choose to socialize with friends and watch the big game that is played out live.

And as explained earlier, there was no reason for Setanta to televise Liverpool vs. Sunderland live and then replay it a day later, before getting to the vastly more important England vs. Wales rugby test that assclown Setanta programmers scheduled opposite the Superbowl. For all the judgment Setanta showed, they might just as well have scheduled it opposite the live FIFA World Cup.

I understand that concept may be a difficult for some people to wrap their heads around. Perhaps they should consider the reasons why every other N.American broadcaster was televising re-runs opposite the Superbowl, and no other pro sports league scheduled games for that exact same time slot. Try exercisng the grey matter, and think about it. Cheers!


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