OLN and Cablevision = Anti-Consumer

For those of you who may or may not know, OLN has decided to blackout all of their NHL games to Cablevision customers unless Cablevision agrees to put OLN in their basic cable package. Not only is this ridiculous considering what fans have suffered through over the past 18 months, but it doesn’t look like a resolution is anywhere near happening.

Myself as well as many Cablevision customers recently ordered OLN through the Cablevision iO sports pak for 4.95 extra per month. Aside from hockey OLN carries nothing but Survivor re-runs and shows about hog-tying, cattle sex and redneck hunting (No offense, but the point is that the channel really offers nothing profitable other than hockey). Now since the NHL made this wonderful deal with this no-name channel OLN, myself and many other Cablevision customers (who by the way don’t really have a choice which provider because Cablevision is undoubtedly a monopoly) will be cancelling OLN and therefore will not get any national hockey games that the NHL so brilliantly made exclusive for OLN.

So, for example now even though I pay for the MSG network so I could watch what I thought would be ALL the Rangers games, I’ll be missing out on all the Rangers games that OLN now owns the rights to. (Which I think is wrong in the first place that the NHL has the authority to sell the EXCLUSIVE rights to a game in MADISON SQUARE GARDEN and can prevent Cablevision who own Madison Square Garden and The Rangers from airing the game on their own network) My best friend is a huge Penguins fan and he recently ordered OLN as well as NHL Center Ice in hopes of getting almost all Penguins games this season. However, thanks to the NHL, OLN, and Cablevision’s corporate ego war, he won’t be seeing Sid Crosby in action tonight.

Furthermore, it’s ridiculous that the NHL’s official website doesn’t even have a place for it’s “beloved fans” whom the NHL and the players are “so grateful for” to email or send in comments, concerns, problems. Absolutely nothing in that realm on www.nhl.com

The NHL wants its fans back. Well themselves and their corporate partners better get their acts together or they’re going to lose a very large, very active, and very important fan-base in the tri-state area.

Not looking for any flames here. If you have something constructive to say, feel free to say it. I don’t need to hear “Cablevision sucks, you should just order Comcast you idiot” because Comcast isn’t available everywhere. Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless.

OLN is owned by Comcast which is Cablevision’s biggest competitor and the fact that the NHL is allowing OLN to use the exclusive games as leverage to get the OLN channel onto basic cable packages.

This forum link below is also informative. Thanks again, guys. Keep up the great work with the site.


47 Responses to OLN and Cablevision = Anti-Consumer

  1. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Another point…..I live in Canada and the OLN doesn’t play any NHL hockey games at all. Does anybody know why this is? If they own the rights to NHL games, why not put them on tv where NHL is the most important sport and give your channel a chance to gain viewership. Maybe it’s because it would compete with TSN, Sportsnet, and CBC…….That’s the only thing I can think of.

  2. TrueBlue0917 says:

    Man i don’t miss hockey on espn one bit. I got sick of watching red wings play the stars, stars play avs, avs playing the wings. There were too many west teams playing primetime hockey. I have cablevision, and when the rangers played the devils, the game was held on msg and fsny, and for some odd reason it was also shown in local channel 8. Seriously channel 8 is nothing but a town bulletin, i was shocked to see joh madden’s big head on there

  3. nonhl2005 says:

    As you know and we are seeing already in the ‘New NHL’ it’s all about the almighty dollar. Why not include OLN in the basic package, because they would be giving Comcast the money to carry it and not get anything in return from us fans. Why doesn’t Indemand sports carry the free preview for the NHL games all month which is what the NHL network is offering (Indemand is only offering it for 1 week), because that cost them a few extra dollars, less other pay tv they would get = more money us fans have to pay. Why don’t the games carried by Comcast sports network appear on Indemand sports on Comcast cable? This one I can’t understand, anyone have an idea? I am sure it has to do with someone not getting their money from us, I just can’t figure it out.

  4. Bretzky says:

    I guess you have a hard time with reading comprehension.

  5. Bretzky says:

    Yes most Ranger games are on MSG and yes most Devils games are on FSNY. But when any of their games are on OLN, they won’t be on ANY other channel, ANYWHERE, and now even if you have OLN… if you’re a cablevision customer, you’re not getting the games at ALL. I really hope this somehow gets fixed soon but I see no motivation on either side to get this done. Reminds me of 10 months ago with the beginning of the lockout.

  6. ryanwa says:

    At least I didnt have to watch the penguins lose in freakin overtime again ‘

  7. Bishop7979 says:

    You aint missing much. the oln broadcasts are horribly grainy, and must be being filmed by drunkin blind men because their inablity to follow the play is amazing.

    While I agree that it sucks that some people cant see these games, until they up the quality of their broadcasts you arent really missing much, you might as well try and find live feeds on the internet somewhere, you might get a better picture.

  8. Bretzky says:

    You’re 100% right. That’s a good point that I also noticed during the season opener of Flyers vs Rangers. The camera was zoomed in way too much. It was like you could only see 1 or 2 players on the ice at a time because of the camera angle and the camera movement was too slow to follow the puck when it got passed up the ice or a slap shot from the point. It was ridiculous.

  9. Flanker_Leader says:

    the rogers cable (center ice) sports package has every single televised nhl game in it, including the oln games ($30/month). if you have shaw instead of rogers in your area then you have to get bell express vue satalite to get all the nhl games.

  10. BUTTMAN says:

    Yeah.. I was thinking this earlier. Watching the game has the feel that you are watching a 10 year old VHS tape. Guess that they are saving money by using cameras from the 70’s.

  11. Heinzee57 says:

    As a former Cablevision customer (and now a Comcast customer) I can tell you that Cablevision SUCKS!

    I live in a suburb of Boston and our local politicians booted Cablevision out due to their poor customer service and their refusal to add new channels.

    While I will agree the OLN broadcasts are nothing to be proud of, I’m sure they will improve with time.


  12. ranger_fan says:

    I called Time Warner, and they told me that they were told by Dolan to NEVER AIR Ranger games on MSG. How much sense does that make? Dolan is an idiot. First he messes with the Jets stadium/NY olympic bid, and now this.

  13. kamullia says:

    Must be a regional problem, because it was not rainy here at home. But I do not have cable, I have DirecTV. In fact, I remember thinking that picture quality was superb and good thing I recorded the game on the TiVo and looking at it again, I do not see any picture degradation.

    However, I totally agree with the camera work. HORRIBLE!

    And something no one has mentioned yet…directing screw ups….they had to cut off several people short while they were talking, or announced segments that were coming up and then didn’t show them, and in the after game show they announced a segment about Sidney Crosby and then they rolled 5 seconds of footage of Messier and Scott Stevens. “OOOOOooopppss!!! Wrong tape, my bad.” It is obvious they are not well organized and in the process of learning the ropes.

    I do like the idea of the mic feeds in regular games, although wearing microphones has been done before, I don’t remember being done outside of all-star games, so I think that is good.

    Anyone know which goalies have agreed to wear the goalie cam other than Esche? If it doesn’t affect them, I wish they all would wear it.

    In all, mixed reviews from me, but good news is that the camera work and the directing will inevitably get better so I have the hope that OLN games will eventually be better than the ESPN games they are substituting.

  14. starsgirl25 says:

    i can understadn where you are coming from, but cablevision isn’t thinking about it from the fans view, but from a business view. they are doing what is the most profitable for them. and as you clearly stated in the last paragraph, “OLN is owned by comcast, which is cablevision’s biggest competitor” there’s you’re reason. and just to ask, does your team not cover the games on a local cable or basic channel? i know the stars do, on 2 channels actually. so i rarely watch OLN.

  15. habsoverserver says:

    Not much you can do. I have the same problem. I cancelled my cable completely. I take the money I would have spent on cable and I buy NYR tix with the money. I see fewer games but at least I don’t have to deal with the cable company.

  16. Beckfan5 says:

    No, I just didnt feel like reading your whole ***** rant.

  17. Beckfan5 says:

    Actually, he missed with the Yankees and the Yes network before anything.

  18. kamullia says:

    Although unfortunate for the fans affected, OLN using this strategy will eventually be better for all fans.

    First off, let’s be fair, OLN is making a living. That is what they’re in bussiness for, and they had nothing to do with the lockout or any of the NHL problems. They simply made an offer which ESPN could have matched, but refused to, and that is how they got the contract. And on top of that, OLN giving away their broadcast for nothing is not fair to them either. I don’t know about any of you, but I did not work any single entire day the past month for free, so I do not expect OLN to give away their living for free either.

    OLN has the advantage here though, and they are using it in a way that eventually will benefit everyone. The NHL game has drawn many more fans than almost anyone could have predicted, and the product is MUCH improved by almost everyone’s standards (other than a few dinosaurs). This means OLN has a product that people will ask for, and therefore they can flex their muscle to get OLN to be carried by all the providers, if possible. And hence hopefully it should be a matter of time before you get OLN, regardless of which carrier you use. And hopefully should take little time to do just that. In fact…you WANT OLN to do what they’re doing before next season. Why?

    Because right now, it is possible to catch the same game in OLN and in another channel at the same time (local broadcasts), but that will change next season, and you will be out of luck if you don’t have OLN. Take a look at this part of a story done in an interview w/ Bettman done on Pittsburgh’s Tribune-Review:

      OLN has to compete for ratings with local markets when other games are shown on the same night. That will change in the future, as OLN will have nights to itself for its telecasts. That should improve hockey’s national TV ratings. “Keep in mind, the OLN (deal) was designed to give them exclusive nights,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “You won’t see that this season, because the schedule was done (in advance of the TV contract).”

    ESPN must be kicking themselves in the rear end. The game is so much better and exciting now. They could have hit it really BIG carrying the new NHL.

    If interested, the Tribune-Review article I mentioned above: Click Here [www.pittsburghlive.com]

  19. JannettyTheRocker says:

    That must be it, we have Shaw Cable out here in Edmonton…….Guess I gotta dish out a few bucks for a dish. Thanks for the response.

  20. ranger_fan says:

    I could care less about the Yankees. Yankees suck, Mets suck, Red Sox suck

  21. WYflyerfan says:

    I have the dish and they didn’t play last nights game. thats BS.

  22. the_hockey_bandit says:

    I had a frustrating expierience last night. OLN had the Pittsburg vs. Buffalo on their schedule (I have digital cable), but they didn’t show the game! They showed some sailing show and a BBQ show instead! No game, no post game show no nothing! Extremely frustrating!

    I was not happy because I live in the midwest (native home is MI) and the only time I get to watch the Wings play is if they play St. Louis (which is now more) now on FSN Midwest. I just wish ESPN was televising games again, because at least then I can watch other teams play, and they televises them when they say they are on their own schedule.

  23. devfanman4 says:

    I in the same boat as you. I’m stuck with Cablevision here in North Jersey. I was all excited about seeing Crosby again last night. I tuned in just in time to see some show about the 25 worst outdoor jobs. I called Cablevision today and cancelled their “sports” package, complained to OLN, and wrote to the NHL in their feedback section. All we can really do is complain until the bigwigs come to a decision.

  24. OLNBlows says:

    Send all complaints to Frank Brown of the NHL. His email is fbrown@nhl.com. I am sure he would love to hear from each and every disgruntled hockey fan who gets screwed by OLN.

  25. Beckfan5 says:

    Big baseball fan I see……huh?

  26. laserman says:

    Even more so, they would be stepping on the toes of Rogers & NHL Centre Ice. They’re probably taking it one conflict at a time…

  27. Bretzky says:

    No one asked you to, you rude, unintelligent little man.

    Then don’t reply.

  28. wheresthesoda says:

    yea man, ive read some articles about cablevision not agreeing to put OLN on cablevision. it sucks, i hear ya….i’m a huge rangers fan, and i didnt even get to watch the season opener, and i wont be able to watch the game on monday, it toally sucks. and theres really nothing i can do, especially since im only 16, and its not up to me to change my cbale status.

  29. EmptyNetter says:

    I didn’t see OLN’s first broadcast game but I heard there were problems. They appear to have figured it out since then because last night’s Pens/Sabres game looked good — I’m in the Boston area. Bill Clement looks respectable in the studio with his gray suit and all clean shaven — I barely recognized him. So glad he’s not in the booth anymore.

    I’m more concerned about the new guys they’ve got on NESN. They’ve got Crispin Glover doing post game and between period interviews and he always botches people’s names. The new guy in the booth (Jack Russell or something) needs to work on his catch phrases: “Thornton shoots but he just can’t put a fork in it.”

    Sorry, Bretsky, and anybody else who’s not seeing the games. Hope it all gets straightened out soon.

  30. nhand says:

    Bretzky, this is just the way business works. You’re probably a person who demands things work the right way. You know if you pay for something, you should get what you’re paying for in return. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’ve been beating my head into the wall with my cable company concerning some channel acquistions and HD programming. This is a bit unrelated to your issue, but I was wondering if anyone else has seen these problems with their cable/satellite services.

    I live in South Jersey. I am a Flyers fan (yes, South Jersey is for Philly fans, and North Jersey is for Devils/Rangers fans…it’s just the way it is…I didn’t make the rules). I subscribe to Comcast for my cable TV service. I’ve also added the HD and NHL Center Ice package to enjoy as many hockey games as I can. I prefer to watch games in HD (who wouldn’t), but at times I have to suffer with regular definiton TV (poor me). Here are some of the good and bad points to my setup.

    The Good

    Comcast gives me coverage of every Flyers game, whether they be on Comcast Sportsnet, OLN, or a local channel that carries the games. Essentially, I will be able to see approximately 100%of all Flyers games on my TV and about 75% of those in HD. It’s really the least Comcast could do, since it owns part of the Flyers and the channels their games are broadcast on.

    The NHL Center Ice package gives me about 40 extra games a week. So I can see just about any game on any given day of the season, unless the game has the Flyers playing in it. No big deal though. If the Flyers are blacked out on the package, I just watch on Comcast, OLN, or the local channel.

    The Bad

    I’m a HDTV owner. I’ve invested decent bucks in acquiring such a setup. Although I’m happy to have many of the Flyers games in HD, I’m not too happy about having only a few of the OLN games in HD and none of the games on the NHL Center Ice package in HD. This is inexcusable to me.

    To start, OLN should be broadcasting all their games in HD. They are the exclusive American carrier of the NHL and they touted the HD broadcasts when OLN got the rights. They should have invested some of the money they spent on the deal with the NHL to buy HD equipment, the crew needed to run it, and a nice studio to broadcast from (what the hell is that thing they use on OLN?). The pre-game, games, and post-game should all be broadcast in HD. At best, a fifth of the games will be broadcast in HD. Not good enough for my money!

    Even worse, the NHL Center Ice package (which is the best way to see the entire NHL, except for the city you live in), doesn’t broadcast a single game in HD. How can this be? They get broadcasts from all over the broadcast universe. CBC, TSN (why can’t we get that fine Canadian programming here in the States?), FOXSPORTS, Comcast (Philly, Washington, Chicago), etc… All of these have HD programming of their games available. How come the games that are broadcast in HD are not a part of the NHL Center Ice package? What’s going on there?

    This is just my little rant about TV coverage of the NHL. I’m sure everyone has similar problems. It’s the nature of the beast. However, as a fan of hockey, I would feel that the NHL would do everything in its power to make sure I’m seeing the game at its best (hence my penchant for HD). It is after all “My NHL” (Is that the lamest commercial ever or what?). Why can’t I get the NHL the way they promised us?

    I’d love to hear about everyone else’s NHL viewing setup as a post to this message. I’m curious what your service is like in your area of the world. Who’s your cable/satellite operator? Do you HDTV? Do you get many HD broadcasts? Etc?

    Enjoy the hockey everyone!

  31. jaydubba_u says:

    OLN SSSSSSUUUUCCCKKKSSSSS!!!!! That station is an embarrassment! The other night I was watching the pregame show and I felt like I was back in 1983. The set looked straight from the 80’s as well as one of the broadcaster’s haircut. The game looked very bleak, like they’re not even using new upto date technology and cameras. Then I watch a Flyers game on comcast and it’s a world of difference. I wish I could watch every game on the home station, comcast….way better. OLN needs to step up their game!

  32. wheresthesoda says:

    yeaa, especially since the NHL didnt want espn to hold onto games anymore, because it wasnt good hockey coverage, atleast i could watch the game, that was a hell of a lot better than not being able to watch it at all

  33. ranger_fan says:

    Athletics Fan here.

  34. Beckfan5 says:

    Bite me, wanna be Ranger fan.

  35. rojoke says:

    No, it’s because TSN owns the Canadian cable rights to NHL games. It won them back from Rogers in 2003. Rogers bought the rights to Senators games a few years ago. TSN also broadcasts some Leafs games within Ontario.

    The Canadian OLN network is actually owned by Bell, which also owns TSN, and the US newtork owns a minority share. So don’t expect to see any NHL games on the Canadian OLN network any time soon, if ever.

  36. AHLoldie says:

    You have exposed the real reason that the league has put the games on OLN. They wanted to prevent the Rangers from the lucrative TV contract that the Rangers had. This puts the Rangers on equal footing with other teams that don’t have a population of ten million. Now if baseball could only break up the Yankees TV revenue, baseball would start to clean up their act.

  37. kamullia says:

    I have NHL Center Ice through DirecTV. The game of Boston vs. Pittsburgh was an HD broadcast done by FSN Pittsburgh.

  38. Mullet says:

    The New NHL SUCKS! I hate a lot of the new rules! some are just ridiculous! I will name the ones I hate!

    1)The shootout- it’s a skills challenge and not part of hockey! It’s like telling NFL teams that if there’s a tie their QB has to throw the football at a target to find out eho wins. Just have continuous OT like in the playoffs, thats much more entertaining to watch!

    2)Goalie playing the puck restrictions. I don’t think it’s bad but they should make the trapazoid bigger for more space for the goalies.

    3)Automatic suspension with a fight after the 5 minute mark in the 3rd period. This is possibly the most retarded rule of all! This is usually the time when most of the fights break out! Fighting is a part of hockey, and by allowing this rule you are possibly causing more stick related incidents! Get rid of this rule and the instigator rule and stick related incidents will decrease in hockey!

    4) The new obstruction rules! I like the base of this rule! but it’s too extreme right now! tiny hooks and holds should be allowed. Also defencemen should be allowed to try to move players away from the front of the net without getting penalties called on them! I mean i want to see hockey with some flow. With all these penalties it’s slowing the game down even more! These are the new rules that I hate!


  39. GretzNYR99 says:

    Instead of complaining on a hockey forum about a rant that you weren’t forced to read, why don’t you get a life? If that’s simple enough for you to understand, that is.

  40. GretzNYR99 says:

    Are you kidding? Give up the anti-Ranger garbage, that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    The reason why the NHL is on OLN is because almost no one is stupid or desperate enough to overpay for damaged goods that will probably never fully bounce back from a lockout, except for the idiots at OLN.

    We’re lucky the NHL has a national television carrier. We really shouldn’t be complaining.

  41. PuckMucker says:

    so far the OLN broadcasts have been nothing more than a bad joke and an utter disgrace to the sport of hockey. Their audio feed is absolutely horrible and the post game and intermission reports are equivalent to a high school public access television production of the 1980’s. Comcast is a non-union company and you get what you pay for in the abscence of professionalism. Even Bill Clement was gritting his teeth and making off the cuff coments about how poorly run OLN has been. Pathetic.

  42. PuckMucker says:

    so far the OLN broadcasts have been nothing more than a bad joke and an utter disgrace to the sport of hockey. Their audio feed is absolutely horrible and the post game and intermission reports are equivalent to a high school public access television production of the 1980’s. Comcast is a non-union company and you get what you pay for in the abscence of professionalism. Even Bill Clement was gritting his teeth and making off the cuff coments about how poorly run OLN has been. Pathetic.

  43. PuckMucker says:

    so far the OLN broadcasts have been nothing more than a bad joke and an utter disgrace to the sport of hockey. Their audio feed is absolutely horrible and the post game and intermission reports are equivalent to a high school public access television production of the 1980’s. Comcast is a non-union company and you get what you pay for in the abscence of professionalism. Even Bill Clement was gritting his teeth and making off the cuff coments about how poorly run OLN has been. Pathetic.

  44. Beckfan5 says:

    You can bite me as well.

  45. fanboi says:

    Get Digital Cable and get “NHL Center Ice”, while you might miss a couple of OLN games, they suck, grainy and audio blows and you get to pick from a greater variety of games. or get a dish

  46. BLACKNGOLD248 says:

    It’s too bad you don’t have Comcast in your area. They’re doing a great job. Every night Hockey Live Webcasts. Last night I watched the Philly-Pittsburg game. It was a Pittsburg FSN broadcast. What a game! I haven’t watched a game yet on OLN. I watched a ton during the free Center Ice preview. Too bad my wife threatened divorce court if I sent in the $129 for the year. We’ve got NESN for the B’s games. They’re carrying all the games except for the few that are on OLN. NESN plays every home game in HD and most road games in HD if availble. All in all this has been a great early season for the NHL fans that are Comcast customers. With the webcast I can even sneak in some hockey at work on the computer. Now that’s the bomb. Now I just got to figure out how to sneak in some beers and hot wings. Go B’s!!

Leave a Reply