Hello and welcome back to the world in which Comcast inexplicably hates you.
Reader (@rybo213) alerted me to news today about a new package from Sling TV, which, unlike PlayStation’s decent Vue service, did not previously carry CSN, the regional sports network whose exclusion from streaming options has prevented a lot of would-be cord cutters from, you know, cutting the cord. Well, GOOD NEWS, NBC products have joined Sling’s new Blue Package, and that includes NBC 10, NBC Sports Network, CNBC and
CSN. Oh I’m sorry– I misstated that. CSN will be available on Sling TV in most major markets where Comcast operates regional sports networks… except Philly:
Sling Blue (multi-stream) is available to new customers for $25 per month and includes local NBC (for select markets), USA, Bravo, NBCSN and Syfy.
Sling Blue customers will have access to live, local NBC broadcast stations in the following 10 markets: Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Hartford, Conn., Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington D.C. Access to on-demand programming will be available in a later update.
Regional Sports Networks for select markets (Comcast SportsNet: California, Bay Area, Chicago and Mid-Atlantic) coming soon.
Sling TV expects to add local content from NBC affiliates in the future on a market-by-market basis.
An NBC Universal rep confirmed that CSN Philly will not be available on Sling TV.
That is… maddening.
Sling, of course, is downed by Dish Network, which has had its own unique issues with CSN Philly. WIKIPEDIA MEH !!
On January 20, 2010, the FCC Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to close the “terrestrial exception” loophole. Lawyers for DirecTV and Dish Network had attempted to show that Comcast, the dominant cable provider in the Philadelphia market, acted in restraint of trade by not uplinking Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia to satellite. Comcast did not appeal the decision, allowing DirecTV and Dish to immediately enter into carriage negotiations to add the network. Both providers formally asked permission from Comcast to carry CSN Philadelphia on June 25, 2010. One month later on July 28, it was reported that Comcast had entered into discussions with DirecTV and Dish Network for carriage of CSN Philadelphia. Two days later, after accusing Comcast of refusing to negotiate in good faith, Dish Network stated it would file a complaint with the FCC. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the FCC’s original ruling on June 10, 2011. Despite this ruling, Comcast has yet to offer CSN Philadelphia on competing satellite providers.
The only current method of receiving CSN Philadelphia within the United States (as of April 2014) is via C-band satellite using a Cisco PowerVu receiver with authorization aimed toward the Galaxy 17 satellite at 91.0°W (transponder 11 at 3920 H).
Gah. Mesahthinks that has something to do with CSN Philly’s exclusion from Sling TV. CSN is available through Dish in other cities, including the Bay Area and Chicago.
It looks like PlayStation Vue will remain the sole streaming service that carries CSN Philly. As I’ve written, it’s a reasonable alternative, but the fact that it doesn’t currently broadcast in 1080 – only in 720 – was a non-starter for me.
At this point, streaming packages are beginning to resemble the cable bundles that most people hate. They are a bit more lean and cost-effective, but not by much. So the benefits are often negligible. Still, the fact that CSN Philly remains so damn difficult to stream, even with cable credentials, is annoying. Comcast claims to be on the cutting edge of everything – such innovators, they are – and yet your options for streaming sports in its home market – WHERE IT OWNS ONE OF THE TEAMS – continue to be extremely limited.
A follow up question to the NBC rep inquiring whether they had any plans to bring CSN Philly to Sling TV in the future was not immediately responded to.