Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Blackouts

Last weekend, on Saturday, I didn't watch a lot of football. I wanted to, but it just didn't work out that way. However, I was near my TV when the Georgia Tech-Miami game was winding down. I saw that it was a close game, so I decided to watch it.

The game was on ESPN3, so I fired up the ESPN app on my Roku device and found the game. But, it wouldn't play. The game was blacked out in my area.

From my house, I would have to drive 433 miles to go to the game. That's the shortest, most direct driving route. It would be a 6½ hour drive on a good day. And, according to the people that decide those things, I was in a blackout area for the game.

That is a very frustrating thing to encounter. I'm not sure I understand why games that are 433 miles away are blacked out. I suspect if I found out why the game was blacked out, I'd want to slap the person that made the decision. Twice. Maybe more than twice. Definitely more than twice.

But, that's how it is. The game was blacked out. So, what did I do? Did I fire up a VPN and get around the restrictions? No, I didn't. I could have, but I didn't. I just didn't watch the game. And that means I didn't watch any commercials that were played with the game.

I wonder if the advertisers think about the fact that people are being denied the opportunity to see ads for their wonderful products and/or services.

Now, I'm not sure if I'm correct about this next bit, but I think it is. This whole blackout thing seems to happen more with ACC games than with any other conference. Is it the ACC that thinks their stuff is so special? Or is it more widespread but I only seem to notice when I'm trying to watch an ACC game? I don't know, but I don't like it.

Will I fire up a VPN the next time this happens? Probably not. I try to respect the rights of the content owners, and a football game is not different than a sitcom in that respect.

So, no, I won't get around the geo-restrictions with a VPN, but I don't blame those that do. Normally, I am opposed to getting around rights owner restrictions. But, while I won't do it, others will (and do) and this is one of those instances where I understand why they do, and don't really disagree.

My Streaming Life should not be this difficult.

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