Comcast Admits Lying to Customers About Premier League Extra Time

16 August 2013

Almost immediate after last night's piece went up about Comcast, I was pretty much informed by someone associated with an NBCU entity that I was flat out wrong. Believing I was right, I continued to keep digging for that silver bullet that told me they were in fact lying when they said all Comcast customers would be getting Premier League Extra Time. This morning, I was able to find that piece of information.

Searching through the various Comcast forums, I found the link to NBC Sports Extra Time's web page. It's as simple as it looks, put a zip code in, find your provider and see how games will be available. Looking at what the had under Comcast, I had what I am calling the paragraph that catches Comcast in the cookie jar.

Barclays Premier League Extra Time is available in select XFINITY markets, with the remaining markets expected to be added by the end of the year. Go to On Demand/Sports & Fitness/Premier League to see if you receive the Extra Time package. All Barclays Premier League Games are available at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Having checked the path specified above in my On-Demand menu, it was not there. So after all this time, the original conclusion I came to on Wednesday proved to be true.

This is multiple black eyes all rolled into one. First off, it is the proof that the press release Comcast released yesterday a lie. From what I have been able to see, every other provider at least have the Extra Time channels blocked off, with some already even showing a test pattern. Comcast's fragmented set up, and inability to get them all situated before day 1, means that much of the good will they have built up through out this summer goes away. There will be some customers who will see this as a prime opportunity to bail for a provider who already has the full Extra Time and Live Extra experience. Honestly I wouldn't blame them if they did leave.

Secondly, it meant that the first line of defense Comcast has with their customers were left in the dark. Honestly, I could have left things lie after the first message back from Comcast on Wednesday. If was after getting the impression they were not only ignoring me, but weren't going to be honest with me, did I start piecing everything together.

If that wasn't enough, it meant that Comcast didn't have a clue on how to handle their own customers. Had they just come out even when I started asking question Wednesday and said something to the effect that they will be unable to have all Comcast subscribers set up by opening weekend but will be as soon as they can, I would have been much more forgiving than I am now. I'm already not thrilled about the stuff mentioned yesterday, and not having a simpler way of accessing these games. However, knowing now that there were elements within Comcast's organization who were lying straight through their fingertips makes me wonder if the statement on the Extra Time website is even close to true.

Using a code phrase like 'expected to be added by the end of the year' is a scary proposition. A set date should already be established for every market. This is Comcast speak for 'if you get it great, if not congrats being a second class citizen to our organization'. It's just sad the truth came out this way, because had Comcast told their customers the truth from the moment there could have been problems, they wouldn't be facing some of the wrath they're facing now. It wouldn't have even been an issue with me. At least I can now focus on the football this weekend knowing that Comcast is treating their own customers like they're second rate citizens.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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