College Football · NFL

My issues with Bell (and Rogers…and Canadian television in general) along with a start to my NFL preview

The NFL preview here will be short and sweet.  Like me.  OK, not like me.  I’m average height supposedly.

Alright, if you are reading this post then you probably read my previous post about the Week Zero schedule (not sponsored by Coke Zero).  Well that all went to shit since most of the games couldn’t be seen by anyone.  I, myself, got to see the two games on CBS Sports Network which were both blowouts (although Colorado State’s new stadium is nice).  Yes, the other games weren’t that great either.  Beside the point though.

I honestly do not understand how creating and running this specialty pack is difficult.  It feels like Rogers and Bell (and other smaller telcos) go out of their way to make things WAY more confusing, complex, and difficult than they have to be.  Why?  Who the fuck knows.  Maybe they don’t understand that efficiency can lead to larger profits.

Canadian television and telcos are a mess.  Let’s be honest, the issues that happen here just don’t happen elsewhere.  I get it, first world problems, yada, yada.  Funny how it’s the people who really have no problems (major problems) in life like to cart out that gem of a saying.  The CRTC allowed too much to go on right in front of their faces for too long and now that they are trying to reel Bell, Rogers, et al back in, the big bad companies are giving the CRTC the proverbial middle finger by not meeting them even halfway but maybe 20% of the way.  Maybe.  Just look at the skinny basic packages.  If the CRTC had any balls, they would have mandated skinny basic packages that are truly skinny, and that includes pricing.  Up to $25 a month for stuff you can get with an antenna?  Please.

The seeming defiance to give Canadian consumers what they want (or closer to it) befuddles me.  There’s a reason Canadians are cutting the cable (not the cord…we still need internet) and will continue to do so: many are fed up with cable companies.  Live sports is smack dab in the middle of all this.  Many people cut the cable (again, not cord) to watch series like Game of Thrones.  You can watch that two hours after the show aired on HBO and it’s not like you miss much.  Live sports you really can’t do that.  Even when I PVR games on Saturdays when I can’t watch them live, I have to stay off any social media and sports sites lest I see a score or four.  So it’s a quandary for sure.  Saying that, I would gladly pay for a package that just includes college football games.  Not the networks themselves, just the games.  So if you had a package that contained the games from…

  • CBS
  • ABC
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • FS1
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • SEC Network
  • BTN
  • CBS Sports Network

…I’d be happy.  And I’d be more than happy to pay for it.  Right now I pay $100 a year for the U.S. College Sports Package and it feels like they have no idea how to run it properly.  For Bell, this could be rectified easily.  Have an HD channel for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and the SEC Network.  Four channels.  That’s it.  If a game from one of these networks is on TSN, then this channel is EMPTY during that time.  Then still have six SD channels for that odd SEC Network alternate game or FSN regional game that we get.  See?  Easy.  And they can do it.  They just refuse to.  Why?  Laziness I guess.  They have our money so why bother putting effort into it.  And it’s not like we can’t pay.  Don’t pay?  Don’t get the games.  Period.  If someone got off their ass and figured out a way to improve this situation drastically, I (along with many others) would gladly pay more to get that.  Instead, you push people to go to other, not-so-legal, methods of being able to watch the sport they like.

So when it comes right down to it, it’s not the price I get upset about: it’s the fact that I pay for it so I should get it.  That’s kind of how purchases work.  And when Bell can just turn around and tell me “No, it now doesn’t start until Thursday and if you had just talked the higher level CSRs then you would know that” I realize that Bell (and Rogers and all the telcos) don’t have to give a shit about the consumers.  And eventually, the losers will be the live sports fans.  And the biggest losers will be the fans of sports other than MLB, NHL, NBA, or NFL since getting those sports will become increasingly difficult to do.  OK rant over.  Don’t want my blood pressure to go through the roof.

Alright, NFL predictions time.  For right now, I will just list the projected standings, along with some notes to go along with it.  I won’t even include the records because it doesn’t fully matter.  Only who makes the playoffs and who is the worst matters.  So here we go (* denotes Wild-Card team):

AFC East NFC East
New England Dallas
Miami NY Giants
Buffalo Philadelphia
NY Jets Washington
AFC North NFC North
Pittsburgh Green Bay
Cincinnati* Minnesota
Baltimore Detroit
Cleveland Chicago
AFC South NFC South
Tennessee Atlanta
Indianapolis Tampa Bay*
Houston New Orleans
Jacksonville Carolina
AFC West NFC West
Oakland Seattle
Kansas City* Arizona*
LA Chargers LA Rams
Denver San Francisco



  • New England, Green Bay, and Seattle are candidates to get to at least 13 wins although Julian Edelman’s season-ending ACL injury will make the Pats passing game a little less formidable than it would have been. They will still clean up in the AFC East though.
  • I see three divisions being ultra-competitive: the AFC South, AFC West, and NFC South. The other five will not be, at least at the top of the division.  Hell, the Packers may clinch by Halloween.
  • The race for the Wild Card in the AFC should be a good one. I have the Bengals and Chiefs getting in but the Ravens, Colts, Texans, Los Angeles Chargers (yes the inept Chargers) and even the Dolphins with Smokin’ Jay Cutler will have a say in who gets into the playoffs.  If the Bills get their act together they should be included here too although it’s pretty likely they will fall 2-3 games short like they always do.
  • In the NFC, the race will be between the Bucs, Cards, Giants, and Saints. Maybe Carolina.  Everyone else, no.
  • As for the worst team, the Jets, Bears, and Niners seem to have the inside track on the #1 overall pick next season. Considering the Jets have arguably one of the worst quarterback trios in recent memory I will slot them in as picking Sam Darnold in next year’s draft.
  • MVP should have a bunch of candidates although watch out for Jameis Winston who could chuck for an absolute boatful of yards (pun somewhat intended).
  • Rookie of the Year is always a crapshoot so I won’t even delve into it. All I know is that DeShone Kizer (yes, DeShone Kizer) could very well be the best rookie quarterback this year.  Playing for the Browns.  No, I’m not drunk.

Next post I will get into my NFL Playoff predictions and then the first real college football television schedule of the season (still not happy about that).  Maybe now we can actually watch a good amount of college football!


8 thoughts on “My issues with Bell (and Rogers…and Canadian television in general) along with a start to my NFL preview

  1. That sucks about last week. Can’t believe that they screwed over there paying customers like that.

    Hope they don’t screw up this week for you. That would be awful.

    And then they wonder why people like myself went elsewhere finally, got sick of paying lots of money and either having the game not televised or in SD. Happened multiple times and I got the same song and dance when I would call and complain.

    The one group of channels you forgot is the PAC-12 group, there’s a main network plus like 5 other regional pac-12 ones. And then either next year or year after the ACC will be launching there own network also. Plus be curious if FS2 gets any football games.

    Give me those also along with TSN’s and Sportsnets for Canadian sports and they can sign me up. Unfortunately will never happen, theyre little monopoly is too protected by the govt here to allow competition.

    I expect a few glitches over the season but hoping it all works out. It is liberating not being at the mercy of my cable company and wether they would give me what I paid them for like in other years.

    I’m busy saturday afternoon with my Fantasy Pool draft but hoping to catch the some action later that night.


  2. I’m sure they will be fine for this upcoming week but as of this morning there was no evidence of the specialty pack even having channels yet. A bit concerning.
    Yes you are one of the customers I was talking about, having to get the sport they enjoy watching from different means. The telcos are pushing people in this direction and want to feign ignorance about it. It’s ridiculous.
    Yes the new ACC Network begins, I believe, in 2019. Should be similar to the SEC Network meaning one of Rogers or Bell will screw things up right off the bat. I did forget the Pac-12 Network. I would probably just include the full national feed and forget the regional ones at this point. Don’t want to get greedy. FS2 has one Big XII game for sure this season and possibly more as the season wears on. It’s almost like things are going in reverse and CFB games are reverting to more regional coverage in a way.
    I am, again, skipping fantasy football this season. I might come back to it next year if I find a group of people I’d want to do that with again. I tried doing the random Yahoo! leagues and it kind of sucks really. Not fun enough.


  3. Are we still out of luck here in Ontario with the Fox Sports One College Football games? I agree with your rant at the top, Bell & Rogers STILL cannot figure things out as is usually the case. It’s really annoying.

    As for your NFL Predictions, I can see both the Bengals & Chiefs making it to the postseason. The AFC South is either going to be won by Tennessee or Houston (my money is on the Texans). Buffalo doesn’t have a very good quarterback and Jay Cutler starting under center for Miami, good luck.

    In the NFC, somehow I don’t see the Falcons making the playoffs. I think Carolina will win the division. New Orleans will come up short of a postseason berth. They still don’t have a defense in my opinion. Agree with you regarding the Buccaneers & Cardinals as wild card clubs. Another team that could surprise this year is Philadelphia. If they were to bring back their kelly green helmet & uniform on a permanent basis starting next season and do great in free agency & the draft, I would consider them a dark horse contender for 2018.


    1. For this season, yes we will not get FS1 games. I am hoping that changes next season although I’m not holding my breath.

      The Bills are probably starting Keith Wenning unless they get their starter and backup back from injury. They should just sign Kaepernick and get it over with.

      The Bucs could end up winning the NFC South in a walk considering their offense. But just like the Saints they have to play some semblance of defense or otherwise they get caught in those 35-34 type games that drive coaches nuts. I think the Eagles are a year away. I’m not sold on Carolina but to be honest that entire division is going to be tight.


  4. Another question: Depending upon DAZN’s subscriber numbers here in Canada (which are not released and here’s hoping that they perform well) would they consider sublicensing Sunday Ticket & Red Zone back to the providers for next season if the figures aren’t too good?


    1. Perhaps. I am sure they will want at least two seasons to see if that would be the case. Besides, they already plan to make a lot of money from soccer coverage so the NFL license might just be gravy to them.


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