La Liga and Serie A in the USA are no longer available through ESPN3, FSC, or GolTV. That means for me and many others no Inter Milan and no Real Madrid apart from Champions League or Europa League. For example, in light of the fact that Real Madrid’s opening La Liga 2012-2013 match was not available in the USA for cable consumers, many Comcast customers, myself included, are strongly considering switching television providers, most notably to DirecTV, because Comcast does not carry beIN Sport. See especially the Comcast customer comments and requests at the Comcast forum. The question is, will I exit Comcast in order to enter into relationship with a satellite provider in order to watch La Liga and Serie A?
Last season, I could watch most Serie A games on Fox Soccer Channel, and I could watch most Real Madrid games either on GolTV in SD or on ESPN3 in HD, depending on airing availability. But now I can’t watch any Serie A or La Liga, period. So, I find myself wondering what costs and benefits are involved in switching? Is it worth it just to watch soccer?
Well, there are some other decisive factors involved. My Comcast cable box needs to be reset every 2-3 weeks by disconnecting the power cable. The navigation menu is archaic and outmoded. The remote has difficulties registering input. Would it be different on DirecTV or Dish?
I have used both satellite services, and I can tell you from first hand experience that it is different. DirecTV from my recollection has the best navigation menu bearing a modern appeal. Dish now has the Hopper to record 6 shows at once. I know the DirecTV box is smaller than the Comcast box, but I don’t know if it needs frequent power-cycling.
So, let me research and compare, and let’s start by summing up what I already have.
Comcast claims to be better than DirecTV. Here’s their reasoning:
Unfortunately, you have to pay $10/mo for HD and an additional $8/mo for their sports package that includes Fox Soccer Channel. Here’s what I currently have:
With the Comcast Triple Play for Group Rate I am at $145.70/mo.
To drop TV and keep my other services, I would be saving a whopping $26.94/mo. That’s right, they want to charge me out the wazzoo for internet and 2 phone lines, totaling $118.76/mo. I’m not even certain anymore that there is a group rate. Hmm, I wonder what else is out there? Let’s take a look at Dish, which also states that it is better than the DirecTV.
Read up on Dish’s reasoning for being better than DirecTV:
To sum up their reasoning: Hopper, DVR 6 shows at once; save $280/year compared to DirecTV; and better Customer Service. That sounds nice. But what’s the cost?
Clearly, to keep equivalent costs to what I already incur, I need to ditch Comcast altogether and bundle with another company. But Dish will only offer me Clear, and, frankly, cellular service sucks where I live. They also have access through AT&T, but due to previous dealings with them, I refuse to go this route, as they severely burned me on U-Verse and through 7 technicians yielding no resolutions, the last of which stating, and I quote, “Are you sure you want to stay with us, because, if not, I don’t want to do the troubleshooting,” I just can’t see myself doing business with them again in the future.
But wait! If I save $26/mo with Comcast by dropping TV, I could get Dish at $24.99 and get the Hopper for free! However, it doesn’t include Fox Soccer or beIN Sport, which is a problem. I’d have to get the next package up to get FSC, but it still wouldn’t include beIN Sport according to their website. In fact, beIN Sport is nowhere to be found in their online listings despite reports around the interwebs that it is available. On the beIN Sport website, it links directly to the America’s Top 250 Dish package, a $69.99 value discounted for 12 months to $39.99. This price puts me over budget. Boo. While Comcast and Dish claim to be better than DirecTV, neither one seems to meet my entertainment needs. Perhaps DirecTV can?
DirecTV is all geared up for American Football. This homepage image is not a good start to the research. What if DirecTV doesn’t care about real football? That’s not the case. They offer their Sports Package at $12.99, which includes FSC and beIN Sport. Unfortunately, their most basic package is $54.99, so after the discounted price ends, I would be stuck paying $67.98/mo just for TV. Ouch. What bundles do they offer?
They offer AT&T U-Verse Internet and Phone. Well, that just put a halt to the conversation.
So, even though DirecTV says they are better than Dish, the bottom line at this point is that I am going to have to wait for beIN Sport to become available on Comcast. It’s either too expensive otherwise or any bundling won’t work through the satellite providers. Yeah, I have a crappy remote, somewhat faulty box, and archaic navigation, but it’s at the right price and with a bundle product that works in my area with all things considered. And let’s not forget that beIN Sport is not yet in HD. WTF? If it is in SD only, then I’ll just stream it online at no additional charge. The costs of switching are not just monetary, and the benefit is quite minimal. It’s just not worth it to switch to satellite given my current living situation.
Here’s to hoping Comcast both gets beIN Sport and in HD quite soon.
[EDIT 8/23/12 1:05pm PDT] Immediately after posting this content, I checked Twitter, and I found this tweet:
Now, the question is two-fold: (1) when will it be available on Comcast, (2) and will it be in HD? [/EDIT]