Maximum Annoyance

One of my local broadcast stations is in a retransmission fight with the local cable company. (I get my locals off of satellite, so I don't have a dog in this fight.) I was watching a football game in HD when I got a rude surprise.

The local station ran its crawl reminding us that if you were watching this program through cable, you might be losing access in a few days. Fine- that's their best weapon in this public war. But how they did it stunned me.

To run the crawl, master control had to switch the HD feed to SD. Every time. For 2 of every 10 minutes or so. In other words, A LOT.

That's where these public fights go bad- the collateral damage like me. Because I, an innocent bystander, got drug into the fight, I now think the station owners are:

A. Jerks.
B. Technical dorks for not having an HD crawl
C. Surprised that they haven't set up a direct feed to the cable company so they could isolate who sees the crawl.

This is customer service at its worst- making your user experience as bad as possible as leverage in bargaining.

The station will win this battle, they always do.

But they are losing the war for viewers with tactics like this.


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