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Comcast is making me miss the Caps’ Game.

Comcast.

My hatred of Comcast is now complete.

It all started when Comcast got in a tiff with the NFL Network. Comcast removed NFL Network from it’s lineup. I was annoyed; but not upset. NFL Network’s Thursday night games were usually lousy match-ups, and at the time Bryant Gumble’s voice doing play-by-play grated on my nerves. He sounded like Kermit the frog…only not as intelligent.

So then, Comcast gave me this lame excuse about how they didn’t want to have to charge me $0.05 more per month for a channel I would barely watch. Okay, that seemed like a lame excuse, and I saw it as a way for Comcast to try and force me into purchasing a more expensive “sports” package. Whatever; I could live without the NFL Network.

Comcast’s compassion about my wallet suddenly disappeared when without warning when they nearly tripled my bill.

My wife noticed that we hadn’t received our Comcast bill, so I said “oh, well it’s no problem, we can just go down to the office and they will print one out for us.”

Just as I had said, we went down to the office and one of the extremely helpful ladies behind the desk actually stopped playing her game of solitare to go off into another room to fetch us our bill. What she returned with was what I could only describe as a “corporate rape ledger.”

My Comcast bill had been about $100.00 per month. What she handed me was closer to $280.00 for the month. I assured her that there must be some mistake, and she had brought me the bill for some other Robert Johnson (of which there truly are many), but she pointed out (correctly) that there was only one that lived at my address.

Now that $280.00 was not entirely filled with bad news. Apparently, my original plan with them had expired, and that $280.00 included a $45.00 “convenience fee” for moving me to the new (more expensive) billing tier. I couldn’t even imagine the hassle I would have had to go through (all the begging and pleading) so that I could give Comcast nearly twice as much of my money for the exact same product. They did that for me automatically, and I was so grateful that I canceled my subscription with them on the spot.

So, I immediately went out and got Direct TV. They were only going to charge me the $100.00 per month that Comcast had been charging me, and, as an added bonus, I was getting NFL Network back!

The picture quality was better. The price was better. The amount of channels was better. Life was good, and Comcast would darken my door no more.

Until September 1st, 2009.

For some reason, Direct TV was pulling the Versus channel from their line-up. Now, I have had my issues with Versus in the past. If Versus is airing an NHL game that starts at the same time as your favorite team’s game does…your team’s game will be “blacked out.” So, instead of watching your team, you are forced to watch someone else’s teams.

Thankfully that kind of thing didn’t happen very often.

Now, however, Direct TV was dropping them from the line-up. This meant that not only could I not watch other people’s teams, but my team has several games slated to air on Versus, including the Season Opener!

How could Direct TV do this to me? I had come to expect this kind of thing from Comcast, but not you too Direct TV!

Then I found out who owns Versus.

Was I surprised to hear that Versus was owned by Comcast?

It would seem that Comcast had learned a new trick from their dealings with the NFL Network. In a move that I could only imagine was designed to stick-it to Direct TV, Comcast decided they would raise their rates for Versus, but still expect Direct TV to carry it in their basic packages. Now here is the same company that was so concerned about my wallet, and didn’t want to charge me a nickel more than I was already paying (they wanted to charge me 3600 more nickels) forcing another provider into the exact same situation they had found themselves in not too long ago.

The NHL needs to step in and do something about Versus. It has gotten out of hand. The exclusive deal, and blackouts are only going to turn people off to the NHL.

This will only end badly for Direct TV. If they don’t cave to Comcast’s demands, then Comcast will hit them with increases on Comcast Sportsnet and there will be no hockey (unless you purchase the ridiculous “Center Ice” package) on Direct TV until NBC starts broadcasting games in March.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck watching the stat lines and scoreboards on my phone.

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