So, I recently reworked my cable package using the new Starter packages mandated by the CRTC, where I ended up actually paying more but being happier about it because I got more channels that I actually wanted to watch instead of paying slightly less for channels that I mostly didn’t watch. And so far, things have been relatively good. There are a few issues with it, however:
1) TSN has been a great disappointment to me. I went to this package — and accepted paying more — because about the only reason I even have cable is because I missed sports that time when I ditched it for a few years. Getting it back was good, but I couldn’t get TSN without paying far more, so I never did. With this, I was able to get the TSN channels plus some others that I couldn’t have gotten by going up a level — like ESPN Classic Canada — so it was a better deal. But I find that I don’t actually watch TSN that much. I’m no longer able to let the morning loop run all morning when I’m home — as I end up getting tired of it — and for the most part there aren’t many sports on it that I want to or can watch. This became apparent in the summer because Sportsnet has baseball, which is the one sport that’s generally on weekend afternoons when I can watch and is a sport that I generally follow. Sportsnet also has the general hockey, but while TSN has the local hockey that I’d want to watch, it turns out that the same reasons that Angel became a hockey fan work against me when it comes to watching it: the games are mostly in the evening/at night, and I go to sleep too early to watch full games most of the time. And unlike baseball, I’m not really willing to just watch part of it, because while I can watch even a half-inning of baseball and get a good break to leave on, in hockey I always want to at least watch an entire period, which takes an hour, and so can’t be done when I have a half-hour left. And for both of them it’s an issue that I’d still not get to see the end of the game.
The CFL, as I found out last year, also doesn’t work because they tend to run more evening games than you’d expect, and so I don’t get to watch most of them either. So if you take out the CFL and you take out hockey, what’s left for TSN that I like? Not much. I did manage to at least listen to some F1 races so far this year, which was nice, but that’s not all that much. That being said, I did like being able to watch curling, as TSN has the national and world championships. Still, I’m not as enamored with TSN as I thought I’d be.
2) There’s still not that much on at the times when I just want something on for noise, since I can’t just leave the morning sports loop on anymore. I’m tweaking things in the hopes of fixing that by adding back some news since that did work for me before. We’ll see how that works.
3) Shomi is also a bit disappointing. In general, it’s worth the money if I watch it at all, and there are a number of things that I have watched — Doctor Who, What I Like About You, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Ned’s Newt, X-Men Evolution — that I’m glad I got the chance to watch. It competes with DVDs, though, and there are a few things that make it less than ideal for me:
1) It splits between movies and TV shows, and I generally don’t watch movies. So the selection of TV shows is less than I’d like.
2) I only want to watch it through my cable box, and often when watching TV shows it will screw up and so the TV show won’t start properly — I think it has something to do with the content warnings, which are pointless for me anyway — without my starting it again and again and again a number of times. DVDs don’t usually have that problem.
3) I have a large collection of DVDs that I can and want to watch, but Shomi is a monthly subscription, so if I switch to DVDs then I’m paying for something I’m not using, which I hate.
Honestly. though, if 2) was fixed, it’d definitely be worth it. And when it’s mostly working, I’m happy with it. It’s just when I spend 5 – 10 minutes selecting “Play from start” over and over again to get it to start that I start wondering if it’s worth the hassle.
Overall, I really think that if it wasn’t for sports I’d ditch it again and go back to my rabbit ears. But to me the sports are worth the cost I’m paying to get them — except for maybe TSN right now — and once I have that adding a little more to get a supplement to DVDs and something to have on for noise is worth it, too. Essentially, I could work around everything except sports, but when I get sports the extra to get other things as well seems to work for me.