15 June 2003

Letter to NHL Center Ice Regarding Cancellation

As an avid hockey fan, I've been a subscriber to the NHL Center Ice satellite television package that enables me to watch up to 40 game broadcasts per week. No, you can not actually watch the entire game of all 40 telecasts, considering that most of the games are played in the same time span. Maybe if I didn't have a job or any social appointments whatsoever, I could catch parts of all 40 games, but hey I got to make money to pay the annual $139 renewal fee.

However, this upcoming season, I'm inclined to cancel. The boring, trap style of tactics employed by the successful teams and the dearth of beautiful offensive free flow hockey is a contributing factor, but not the main reason why I will probably choose to no longer ante up and fill the financial coffers of the NHL and DirecTV. Actually, it's a short list of grievances of which I am fairly certain won't be addressed for the sake of a sole customer. But in case I am presented with a "reason for leaving" form, I figured I should plan ahead and list out my reasons.

  • First, the lack of any highlight channel or at least a single channel that would show video highlights, box scores, standings and statistics. Yeah, I know I could clickety click onto the good 'ol internet and read detailed game breakdowns, box scores and recaps until my eyes bleed, but it would be nice to be able to see what happen to that Rangers v. Penguins game that I had to step away from and when I return all I get is a blank channel. Oh, I'm sorry, I should get a Tivo or ReplayTV device or set my stupid lousy VCR. Balderdash. Just what is wrong with a dedicated channel to show some video highlights of the day's best goals, best saves and best bone crushing hits?

  • Along the same line, what about replays? I miss many games simply because I live in Arizona. On many a night, the entire slate of NHL games is completed or deep into the third period by the time I get to plop down in front of the TV. Why can't there be replays to allow those not fortunate enough to lead a lifestyle of the idle rich?

  • Enable me to choose which team broadcasters to listen to. I'm a longtime Penguin fan and still love to hear Mike Lange call a game. It dismays me to tune in to a Penguins game and hear the opposing team's announcers when I know for a fact that game is being televised in the Pittsburgh market, and thus a game feed from them is indeed available but not offered.

My comments here will likely draw no more than a brief perusal, if they're not outright neglected. I just wanted to tell you why I'm not renewing my subscription for the 2003-2004 NHL season.

Thank you for reading.


Agree on all counts. Plus one more..... Why wasn't the game between Montreal and Toronto not available on Center Ice on 10/18/03? CBC was televising it. "Hockey Night In Canada" has been broadcast many, many times on Center Ice. Is it being dropped this year? If so, I will be cancelling my subscription as well. If I only want to watch the most successful teams, or those with the big star players, I wouldn't need Center Ice. I'd be watching ESPN2
Buy a Canandian Dish through a broker and you can catch the vast majority of the regular season games and no to mention actual playoff coverage here in the states. If you don't mind using an antenna for the local stations you can get all the big US network stations and end up paying less the the US dishes with better hockey coverage. If you are a real nut you can add Center Ice as well. As an added bonus you can time shift.
No Hockey Night in Canada...no subscription from us!!! come on!!!! You can't CHANGE the service we've been buying!!!
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I may not be reading clearly enough but I think I know how this works. If you live in pittsburg, or near it, nhl center ice does a "blackout" that makes you watch the local station. Bonus is, unless you have ridiculous cable, you never the same game on any channel. I don't get to watch my beloved Senators if they are being broadcast on a canadian network. Just the way it works.

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