Soccer Fans, What Do You Love and Hate About Your Cable or Satellite Provider?

The entrance to the Time Warner Center is seen at Columbus Circle in New York August 4, 2010. Time Warner Inc raised its full-year outlook after quarterly revenue grew at the fastest pace in two years, thanks to a surge in advertising sales at its cable networks and strong turnouts for movies.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)

If I have learned anything in my first year of reading EPL Talk it is that we are all subject to the whims of our TV providers whether they be cable, FiOS, DSL or satellite. You want Fox Soccer Plus? Well, let me see. “We value the input of all our customers……..”

Right. Tell me another one. Being a Time Warner Cable (TWC) prisoner …errr customer, my favorite line is their “The power of you” tagline. The power to what? Switch? Too many trees for satellite, unless I hire Paul Bunyan. DSL? FiOS? “We should be with you in 2015.” So there you are. TWC or bust.

But what does that mean? If you have followed the postings on EPL Talk it is obvious that we subscribers to any service have little idea what “normal” service means. Each company seems to have its own set of rules. For instance, in one of the greatest misunderstandings, Time Warner does not offer “National” service. They let their regional managers decide whether or not to offer special channels like Fox Soccer Plus or whether to go HD on anything. So, TWC line-ups are different all over the country. Comcast? Brighthouse? Charter? I have no clue. You tell me.

DirecTV and Dish seem to have a different business model entirely, but not always better. For instance, I get Fox Soccer Plus at no extra charge, but my understanding is that DirecTV customers must pay a premium for the same service that I get for “free.” I really do hate to use old clichés, but…..Whazupwiddat?!

My question to you, dear readers is, in this jungle we are all trying to maneuver through, what are the best ….and worst things about YOUR service, including pricing? What would make it “perfect”? Like you have a chance.

P.S. My apologies for cutting out our UK readers. I love you guys. You could always chime in with what spoiled-rotten-little-Yank-brats we are…..or your own particular provider problems. Hey, you might even make us feel better!

57 thoughts on “Soccer Fans, What Do You Love and Hate About Your Cable or Satellite Provider?”

  1. UK fan, Sky TV, love it. Sky Sports HD and now at least one PL match per week in HD. Live Football League, La Liga, Champions Lge etc etc. All we miss is the live 3pm games but to protect attendances I can live with it. At least they’re all bring shot in HD now

  2. I’ve got Comcast which still doesn’t have a deal in place with FSC HD, FSC+ or GolTV HD. As I understand it, Comcast signs national deals to carry a network, but then it’s up to each region as to whether or not to make that channel available based on demand and capacity. Being in the Pittsburgh area, I’m not holding my breath.

  3. I hate having Time Warner (Albany, NY), and watching some different parts of the country having different (better) options. We have FSC, GolTV, but neither in HD…..but we do have FS+ in HD.

    Meanwhile, Time Warner in NYC has both GolTV and FSC in HD…..

    Unreal. Im not expected to watch this in SD????

    1. If TW of Albany NY would only add FSC HD and GOLTV HD I would be a happy customer! I’ve been writing every week for 2 months now and they have no answer for me they say ” We’ll send it to corporate” WTFreak they are really missing out with satisfied customers. I even had customer service tell me they don’t even carry FSC WTFeak!!!

  4. Time Warner Cable in Milwaukee
    Love: Had FSC HD about a week after it was released back in february. I stumbled upon it one day and i could not believe it! Added FS+ right away also (we never had setanta, not even as an a-la-carte option)

    Hate: No I live off this site (and one other that i will keep hush-hush for now haha) when I am up at college in the fall. No FS+HD either, but im still pretty satisfied that the option is there regardless. It doesn’t bother me as much, but one plausible negative from others’ points of view would be that I don’t have access to GOLTV.

    1. I live in Milwaukee as well. If you add the Spanish channels on TWC you get goaltv and espn desportes. It’s only $4.95 extra per month.

  5. I switched to Dish Network from DirecTV as a money saving measure this week. For the most part, so far, I’m happy. Free HD and pretty much all the channels I got with DirecTV at a $30+ per month savings.(FSC is on the package I got, I have to get the sports pack on DirecTV in order to have FSC)

    But, no GolTV, which will be rough as this season moves forward. I wish they could work out their differences. I will also miss all the extra soccer DirecTV provided (Champions League, Europa League & La Liga)

  6. Comcast student bundle (Cable+Internet) in Ann Arbor, MIchigan + HD package (ESPN2 HD) + Sports bundle (FSC, GolTV, ESPN2). Total costs is currently $80 / month but will increase to $120 in december :(

    Besides ESPN2 in HD, I am stuck with SD (or low definition) footy action but I get:
    Premier League and MLS, ECC (ESPN+FSC, ECC)
    Bundesliga and La Liga (GolTV).
    Various soccer games (

    Generally happy with Comcast when I am paying 80 dollars. For 120 dollars (50% increase) I would want FSC and GolTV in HD or it is not really worth it.

  7. I have Brighthouse which is a subsidiary for TWC.

    What I like is that I have ESPN HD, ESPN 2 HD, ESPN Deportes, FSC, FS+ HD, Fox Sports Espanol/Deportes, GOL TV, Univision, Telefutura, and Galavision all of which feature futbol. I think it’s great that FS+ comes with the sports package which is fairly priced that I subscribed to before we got the channel back in May. I am a huge sports fan in general not just futbol so the Big 10 Network, NHL Network, and the Fox Sports College Sports Networks are extremely important to me as a displaced Detroiter who lives in Florida.

    What I am missing through Brighthouse is FSC HD, FS Espanol/Deportes HD, GOL TV HD, The 3 Spanish Networks above are not in HD, and ESPN 3. I do have remote access to ESPN 3 through my buddies account which is great but I rather have Brighthouse offer it.

    I really can’t pitch much of a bitch since all of the bases are pretty much covered. I am realistic that at some point Brighthouse will offer the channels that I don’t have in HD. I didn’t get an HDTV till February and I did just fine watching sports in SD for over 30 years that I can wait for Brighthouse to roll out HD for the channels that I dont’ get in HD yet. Just having access to FS+ is huge because I won’t have to go online to find a stream of games that I want to watch that aren’t on FSC or ESPN 2 like I did in the days of when Setanta was showing games and before Brighthouse rolled out FS+.

    One thing I would like changed is that Brighthouse offered GOL TV in the Sports Pack instead of the Spanish Pack since the network is broadcast in English. I pay the extra 5 bucks a month for so I won’t miss afternoon La Liga matches involving Real and Barca along with occasional Bundesliga games. Only on occasion do I have a need for FS Espanol/Deportes but for the most part the channel is a afterthought to me.

    One thing that will really bother me is if TWC/Brighthouse don’t come to an agreement with ESPN and all of their networks that is up on 9/2. I think they will come to a agreement before BH pulls ESPN from their line up but I just wish they would come to agreement now instead of all of this stupid posturing on both sides. Supposedly ESPN3 is one of the sticking points between the 2 sides which isn’t much of a bother to me since I have remote access through my friend who has Charter. Finding the 7:30am Saturday Premier League game online won’t be an issue it’s not having ESPN News, PTI, ATH, SportsCenter, and other programming on ESPN is a HUGE issue for me because like I said above I am a big fan of all sports.

    Brighthouse/TWC isn’t perfect but if you compare the amount of games and leagues we got 5 to 10 years ago it’s a lot better now compared to then.

  8. I love that i dont pay for cable…$150 per year (or so) for plus pub viewings and illegal streams.Cable can suck it.Im not paying over $100 per month for 100 channels i’ll never watch,just so i can get my games on sat & sun.

  9. Dish Network.

    Love: FSC-HD, FS+, & ESPN-HD gives me all televised EPL matches. Superb DVR.

    Hate: No FS+HD yet. No GolTV. Recently lost ESPNews in HD. Dish uses a program listing service that leaves a lot to be desired (eg. Championship League matches were listed as Cricket for the past two weeks.)

  10. I have Dish. ESPN HD, Fox Soccer HD and I had FSC+ switched on yesterday. The FSC+ SD picture quality sucks sadly on a HD TV it looks like its from a bad streaming website. If only dish gave us FSC+ in HD.

    Can’t complain too much about dish and so much better then Insight Cable. No FSC HD or FSC+. I do get ESPN3 from my ISP for free.

  11. In Milwaukee. I had Uverse which (after sending about a dozen emails) I cancelled because they could not tell me when they were going to add FSCHD or FS+. Switched back to Time Warner (which is way cheaper) and now get FS+, FSCHD, ESPNDesportes, GOLtv, and all the ESPN’s. Outside of FS+, GOLtv, and ESPN Desportes not being in HD (yet). I really can’t complain.

  12. I long for FIOS. :(

    I’ve recently moved, and it really is the best picture/channel combo out there. I miss having it.

    I’m now on team Direct TV and while their customer service is excellent, their prices and overall products leave much to be desired.

    Also, since moving into the the city (Baltimore), I’ve been forced to have to deal with Comcast for my internet needs. They are complete, and utter rubbish, and I would gladly pay twice the amount of money to any other service provider if I had the option to. Unfortunately, that is not possible, as Comcast has a monopoly in this city as far as broadband internet goes. It’s pathetic. There has to be–or at lease should be–some kind of law against what we have to deal with in this city to access our email and/or porn…….

  13. i have TWC, Durham, NC
    Love: have FSC SD and FSC+ SD($4.50 part of sports tier)
    Hate: no goltv & HD channels for FSC & FSC+
    f*** You TWC

  14. I have TWC in the Cleveland area. FS+ is on the slightly more expensive sports package, which is ok. No HD for either, which I can deal with.

    HANDS DOWN the worst part is no No replays, no live online, no nothing. And when it comes to XBox 360 later this fall I won’t be able to use it at home. Really disappointed in that.

    1. The lack of ESPN3 seems to be a real gagging point for many TWC subscribers. Like you I can deal with the no HD on FS+ (and FSC for me), but it is more than irritating to not have access to ESPN3. It would really round out my sports media needs.

      They must get a ton of questions about it as it is addressed in their FAQs. Of course the response is pure corporate gobbledygook and they still refer to it as ESPN360. Not a good sign, but I live in hope.

      I’m the guy who swore he’d never see FS+ on his cable line-up, but now I have it at no extra charge…..and I don’t even have the Sports Tier. :-)

  15. directv screwing me up,i’m suscribed to fsc+ and the channel 621-1 supposed to
    showing blackburn game in hd its telling me i’m not subscribed no problem
    for me to watch in standard def on 621 anybody else have this problem?
    i tried resetting reciever to no avail i dont want to hassle getting on the phone with direct this morn i just want to enjoy the games.

    1. Same problem here! I really don’t care about that match, but I just hate being denied access to something I already paid for! If it continues, I will be calling Directv on Monday.

      1. had the same problem so was watching other game. Flipped back and game is now showing on 621-1 in HD. Maybe Directv forgot to flip the switch.

      2. Having the same problem too. I checked for resolve, no luck.

        Other than that, I have DirecTV, and I love it. Most of the small problems are out of their hands (blackouts or scheduling conflicts done by the channels or sports leagues themselves). I rarely have any drop out in service except on the local channels when there is a very heavy storm.

        I’ve got 4 different sports packages: Their sports Extra (all the Fox Sports and local sports channels around the States), NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Center Ice and Fox Sports Plus. I can’t really complain. I’d like for it all to be free, but I get enough use out of all of them that it’s a worthy purchase.

        DirecTV offers 4 soccer channels (FSC HD, GOLTV HD, FSC+ and FS Espanol) plus the local Mexican station which will occasionally pick up a Mexican league or MLS game. So there isn’t really a lack of programming. I just wish the quality was a bit higher.

  16. I live in Milford, CT and have Cablevision.

    They do not offer FS+ in SD or HD, FSC in HD, GolTV in HD, or FSC in SD is part of the normal cable package but GolTV in SD is part of the sports package and because of all this I signed up for the Premier package with DirecTV yesterday and it is getting installed next Friday.

    Now I just need to sign up for AT&T U-Verse high speed internet so I can use in HD on my Xbox360 once the app goes live.

  17. Comcast in Memphis. They actually preempted part of the Spurs vs. Man City game this morning for a pre-recorded show they produced during SEC football media days weeks ago. Thank God for ESPN3, at least.

    If it weren’t for trees blocking the signal, we would have had DirecTv years ago.

  18. Have direct tv

    love that we now have everything in HD

    hate that FSC isn’t included in regular programming (part of the Sports Pack or Premier) and that FS+ is an $15 ala carte option. it should be included in the sports pack

  19. it really doesn’t matter who you have – it’s simple market logic, as most content providers’ “customers” have no reasonable alternative, these companies don’t go out of their way to please anybody but their shareholders.

  20. Terrible. I have Comcast here in Sacramento and they no longer respond to my requests for them to provide FSC plus, FSC HD, etc .. I live in an apartment so I can’t switch to Dish or Direct TV ( Landlord ) so I’m stuck with what i got.

  21. Directv

    happy with the new additions… but had a real problem with the FSC+ HD feed this morning… in the 90′ min the feed went dead.. had to watch extra time on the SD feed…multiple DVR problems still with FSC+….— But, in the grand scheme of things.. its better than what i was watching 7 days ago. I hope this gets sorted….


  22. time warner-los angeles

    im a big pissed off as i just switched from dish network to time warner because people in my house want to save 70 dollars a month,time warner sucks compared to dish,i have no FSC & FSC + HD which pisses me the F off,i hate watching sports in non HD,just sucks..on top of that TW only offers one HD HBO channel vs dish where i had 5 or 6 HD HBO channels,TW is definitely a step down,i dont understand people who run these corporate companies,im sure i will get FSC HD within 2 years..fuck you TW

  23. Comcast. Suburb on the Chicago border. No FSC HD, No FS+, no Goltv. At least Comcast users within the city lines get Goltv…..I hate you comcast. I’ve been nagging @comcastcares on twitter, he quit responding about a week ago.

  24. my conversation with TWC(Durham,NC) Rep

    Rep:I understand you would like to know when are we adding HD channel for FSC, am I correct?
    XXX(Sat Aug 14 15:38:20 EDT 2010)>yes
    Rep(Sat Aug 14 15:39:08 EDT 2010)>I will be glad to assist you.
    Rep(Sat Aug 14 15:39:49 EDT 2010)>I would like to inform you that we are working over it and you will receive it soon.
    Rep(Sat Aug 14 15:40:01 EDT 2010)>Our experts are working over it.
    Rep(Sat Aug 14 15:40:21 EDT 2010)>And we will send you the notification once it get started.
    XXX(Sat Aug 14 15:40:29 EDT 2010)>ok thanks when you say soon, within a month or so?
    Rep(Sat Aug 14 15:40:56 EDT 2010)>Yes, within a month.

  25. directv netta step up their fs+hd pursuits and negotiate a deal for the full channel. i don’t want any f***ing problem like this morning. i guess all of us here called dtv this morning and the rep guy sends signals to my hddvr like 10 times and still don’t work. other than that, dtv is the best soccer package (only if u have $)… even if u don’t have $, u can still watch champs league, europa, and la liga en espanol. dats my i would never live in apartments jaja

  26. I have Cox New England and while they don’t have FS+, nor plan to add it anytime soon, they do have FSC HD, FS espanyol in SD, Gol TV in SD, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN deportes in SD plus So overall I’m not too unhappy even if most of the channels are not in HD since I’m more interested in having availability of matches from the EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A regardless of whether they are in HD or SD. I’ve been living in this country for 37 years and the football available to me for viewing on TV now is a far cry from the days when only PBS showed any football with Toby Charles as commentator.

  27. I have Charter in South central Wisconsin and it’s pretty much all cons for me. Have to pay either $5 or $10 extra a month for the sports tier just to get FSC. No FSC+ or GolTV and no HD either. At least I have ESPN 3, although it took them a while to get that even.

  28. Dish Network customer here; let’s see:

    I like the fact that I get FSC (used to also include GolTV, but now Dish Network does not carry Gol) as part of my regular plan/package where as when I was with DirectTV you had to order the sports package to have it.
    I like the fact that I do not need a receiver in every room that has a TV.

    Dislike the fact that Dish Network dumped the GolTV channel, which they promised to replace with something else. To this day channel 407 has no channel assigned to it. I feel like whenever they want to they remove some channels and do not replace it with something else.

  29. I have Comcast in Atlanta. I have FSC and Gol TV and that is it. No FS+ and FSC and Gol is not in HD. I do have ESPN 3 though. I had Charter in Athens, GA when I was still in school and that was terrible. Only had FSC and the lack of HD channels was just laughable.

  30. Frontier FIOS since July 1 (formally Verizon), Portland, OR

    I get FSC, GOL and FSE as a part of the Extreme package and FS+ as a $15 add on (I had Setanta before). All are currently SD.

    Since the switch, everything appears a little “Jekyll and Hyde.” The channel lineup looks the same and the bill looks the same but, when I click on links on the Frontier web site, I get Verizon pages. HD picture quality is great (loved the TH v.MC game this morning) and SD in mediocre, but the DVR is a POS. It will only record around 20 hours (HD) and crapped out recording the CFC v WBA game this morning (a new unit arrives Monday or Tuesday).

    I have called about getting FSC and FS+ and I have been told the deal will be done some time in late September, but I will not be holding my breath. I was also told that Frontier has some tie up with Dierctv and will be aligning channels and packages (Extreme package and FS+ syndrome).

    I have the triple play bundle, so changing providers will be like pulling teeth. Therefore, I may stay with Frontier to see how things unfold, but I am due a price increase in October and if FSC HD and FS+ HD have not been added, I will probably have to jump ship.

  31. Time Warner Cable – Kansas City

    FSC HD, FSC+ HD, & GolTV SD (FSC+ & GolTV are part of the $4 digital sports tier, FSC is on basic digital tier)

    As with other TWC customers, no ESPN3 sucks. No GolTV HD is a problem as well for me, but I’m sure that’ll change at some point. Getting FSC HD & FSC+ HD for a reasonable price is great though.

  32. From Twin Cities, but currently living in Singapore.

    Singapore goes nuts for EPL and the TV situation here is a bit silly.

    There are 2 competing TV content providers, Starhub (the cable company with a vast lion’s share of the good channels) and Singtel (a new service over DSL). Strange because they are owned by the same local investment company, Temasek Holdings.

    Long story short…
    Starhub had the rights for EPL matches and ESPN until last year, when Singtel outbid them. Now everyone who wants to watch needs to either quit Starhub (and all their good channels) and subscribe to Singtel (very few good channels) or carry both.
    Now I have 2 cable boxes on my TV.

    The upside is that Singtel has devoted 8 channels to soccer matches (including Champions League and Europa League) so they can show all the games every week. And it’s only about $18 USD per month for the Sports package.

    Unrelated side note: FIFA just got done extorting both Singtel and Starhub for world cup rights by raising the price 10x what they paid 4 years ago and forcing them to charge subscribers appx. $65 USD to watch the games.

    1. Interesting post, Buttermaker.

      “Unrelated side note: FIFA just got done extorting both Singtel and Starhub for world cup rights by raising the price 10x what they paid 4 years ago and forcing them to charge subscribers appx. $65 USD to watch the games.”

      You wonder about the repercussions of things like that. Can FIFA or the EPL, actually kill the goose that lays the golden egg by pushing rights fees into the stratosphere? IS there a ceiling? Is there actually some point where fans say, “No mas?” Probably not.

  33. Bright House pretty much operates a cable monoply in Central Fla, but their sevice is pretty decent. Besides satellite’s a bit dodgy down here because of all the thunderstorms. FSC’s been on standard digital for years, and they just added FS+ to the sports pak. They’re both in HD, so along w/ESPN2 I’m all set for EPL without paying a whole lot extra

    1. Sky and ESPN are the only companies authorized to provide EPL in the U.K. Just because pubs can get Albanian satellite, doesn’t make it right.

      1. But we get force fed Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool otherwise. There is no choice in terms of watching one specific team digitally in the UK.

  34. Philly area with Comcast.

    Fox Soccer Channel with no HD option. Fox Soccer Plus is not carried.

    Not too great. The only saving grace each week is the ESPN games in HD.

  35. Have RCN in Massachusetts. Positives: lots of sports in the sports package, and FSC, FSE, Gol TV, ESPN Desportes, ESPN U, ESPN 3. There’s even PFC (portugese football channel) since we have a large Portugese community, though getting PFC requires a hefty additional monthly fee that I chose not to bother with.

    Negatives: still very little to no soccer in HD apart from the matches ESPN chooses to televise. It’s not been a huge issue since I DVR a lot of matches and HD eats up a lot of space (this is my rationalization, anyway), and the major EPL/MLS matches on FSC look alright in SD. Gol TV, though, has tons of shaky feeds from La Liga, and seems like a more barebones operation in general (which is a shame, because I love a lot of the soccer they do televise).

    For the moment, I’m happy with all the football I have access to, and hoping RCN feels enough pressure from competing providers to offer FSC HD and Gol TV HD eventually.

  36. I have DirecTV and love it. I now get soccer on channels like ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, FSC, FS+ (thought I refuse to subscribe), GolTV, Telefutura, Galavision and some local channel that shows Serie A for some reason, all in HD.

    What I don’t like is that in order to have FSC and FS+ I have to first buy the Sports Pack for 13 bucks which gives me ESPN Classic, FSC and GolTV (worth the money in my opinion). But I refuse to pay 15 bucks a month for just having FS+. I’m real close to just buying a 15 mo subscription instead, which gives me all the FS+ games as well as games only shown online.

    The other thing I’m not too happy about with DirecTV is that ESPN Deportes is not part of a Sports Package. I had Time Warner Cable before this, and while I hated it so so much, they had Deportes with the Sports Packages, which gave me La Liga, Bundesliga and Mexican League matches. With DirecTV the only way to get Deportes is to buy a Spanish language package for at least 25 a month. Not going to happen.

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