UPDATE: Access to BCS game a big disappointment


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I stand corrected about one detail in the rant ... I mean, um ... blog post below.

A friend of mine said he did watch the game by streaming it on ESPN last night. When I visited their website about an hour or so ahead of game time, I somehow missed seeing that link.

But regardless, as that same friend pointed out in a Facebook comment to my posting: "But there is the whole cost of having internet at home so the point still has validity."

——- ORIGINAL POST, TUESDAY, JAN. 10, 1:18 P.M. ——

I was born and raised in Alabama, on Alabama football, so you don't have to stretch your mind too far to imagine how pleased I am about last night's blowout in the BCS National Championship Game, where Alabama simply dominated LSU.

However, there was one sour note related to the game for me, and that's the fact that it was only available for viewing on ESPN , or via paid websites for a streaming feed.

Meaning your average person without cable services couldn't enjoy the Super Bowl equivalent for college football without heading to a friend's house or sports bar.


Let's look at the players again: Alabama and LSU. Two states which rank among the nation's highest for poverty. Louisiana in second place, and Alabama in ninth.

Sure, there's plenty of middle- and upper-class fans for both teams with cable access, but one can only guess how many fans for both teams, between the states, don't have that basic access. Folks who could have easily tuned in with bunny ears and a digital converter box on a regular broadcast station with an old TV, many of whom likely reached for a radio last night.

I was able to drive over to a friend's last night and watch the game on his giant flat-screen, but I would have preferred to be in my own living room. And as minor of an inconvenience as that was, I kept thinking about all those fans in the South who must have felt extra-marginalized during game time.

My grievance probably is in no way unique today, as non-cable-owning folks have been griping about access to the games they want to watch for some time, especially since Disney pulled Monday Night Football from ABC to ESPN.

In quickly scanning the internet for stats on cable owners vs. non-cable owners, I didn't find a site whose numbers looked trustworthy enough, but estimates out there for folks with cable (or satellite TV or some other pay service) ranged from about 50 percent to 85 percent of the nation's population, leaving at least 45 million people without cable, but probably much more than that were an accurate count available.

Yes, at the end of the day, we're talking about viewing sports games, a leisure activity — not access to a political forum or debate, or something that probably nobody would argue against wanting to have open to everyone of every class and socioeconomic status.

But as the Occupy Movement has done such a good job of drawing attention to lately, there's evidence of the class divide all around us.

Perhaps especially related to leisure activities that divide is evident, obviously due to those who have money to do stuff and those who don't.

I'll stop rambling because I think you see my point. I'm not griping about access to a whole season of football or wanting everything for free. But I'd like to see the biggest games, such as the BCS title game, available to everyone.

Think that's too much to ask? Or will we one day need cable access for the Super Bowl, too? Then will the minority's voice be heard?


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