Friday, January 2, 2015

About To Lose Your NFL Playoff Game (And Possibly Superbowl)? Get An Antenna!

The news struck wifey like a sudden thunderclap early a.m. on New Year's when the local NBC station was suddenly blacked out and a Direct TV message followed to the effect: "We regret that this station has been removed by the owner. For further information please go to"  When she went online, according to her, "All I saw was a bunch of damned platitudes trying to explain why the NBC station was lost."

Why such a big deal? Hmmm...let' see: Wifey's team,  the Baltimore Ravens,  is to play the hated Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow night on guessed it.....the local NBC affiliate. The selfsame station that would now be blacked out, including, for the SuperBowl if the financial impasse wasn't settled.  To say my wife was near hysterics was to put it mildly. (Of course, the game would be shown on the NFL channel later, way later - at 2 a.m. local time - not much use to her).

What was this deal about anyway? (And this may be a point of caution for others to pay attention to as well). Well, most people in most places believe Comcast owns NBC but it's a lot more complicated than that. Comcast does control most major market NBC stations but in a lot of smaller market towns like COS, it is a relative unknown called "Cordillera Communications, Inc". e.g..

So while Janice's friend "Nanette" in Aurora has a cable setup with an NBC station that will televise the games (she's no football fan, btw, hates it), here in COS we were faced with the prospect of nada - no playoff game, and possibly no Superbowl. When Janice phoned the people at Cordillera she spoke to a pleasant woman who is part of the family that owns it. She was told that Cordillera was asking barely 10 cents more per day for the use of their content - but Direct TV refused. She said, given that, they had no alternative other than insist on withdrawal of the station content. Meaning everyone with Direct TV in Colorado Springs would be affected. (Direct TV's story, on their 'explanation' website, is that Cordillera wanted "six times more" than they'd been getting.)

Obviously, Direct TV's interest is in keeping costs down for those of us who are subscribers - and they know if they acquiesce to the price increase for the NBC channel (as they may have to for AMC with which there is also a dispute) they will have to jack up our overall subscription rate - already approaching $200 a month.  

Why are we with Direct TV? Simple! Though we live in Broncomaniac Country we both hate the Broncos! We don't want to watch their stupid games, but rather our own teams, the Ravens and Packers, respectively. So we have Direct TV to get their NFL package. 

Anyway, the lady at Cordillera with whom Janice spoke told her the best thing she could do to see her playoff game (and the Superbowl - since there no indication of any settlement) was to get a high quality antenna. Thus informed, she wasted no time yesterday in driving to Walmart to see what they had. (Walmart is the nearest store, and the whole town was more or less snowbound yesterday)

On arriving she saw several other people grabbing the best antennas -including one Seahawks fan. He told her it was a "pisser" that the local station was dropped by Direct TV but he had it on good authority that this antenna (one of which he held) would do the trick. She concurred and snatched up the same model.

On her return, we watched the Rose Bowl then the Sugar Bowl - after which I turned in (still battling the residue of flu - and coughing up nasty stuff) while she installed the antenna. This morning I can see the picture  for KOAA is there in glorious HD and full color,  no ghost images like you used to get with old antennas (and old TVs!)

We are all set for the playoff game tomorrow night, and also the SuperBowl - irrespective of whether Direct TV and Cordillera finally get their differences resolved.

If you find yourselves in a similar predicament - there's your solution: an antenna for which you can easily switch to the local affected station then back to your regular DTV package. And the cost? Only $34.99!

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