Press Release Lies About Comcast & Premier League Extra Time

15 August 2013

After personally finding out yesterday that Premier League Extra Time, NBC Universal's overflow channels that will air all games not already on a NBC Universal cable channel, may not be on all Comcast platforms, a minor detail was leaked that is tantamount to false advertising. That new detail, first seen on Jonathan Tannenwald's @thegoalkeeper twitter page, is a note stating that Comcast will only be showing Extra Time matches live through Xfinity On-Demand, and not through any live channel set up.

While I was hopeful yesterday that Comcast customers would be getting the same live experience that at least uVerse and DirecTV customers will be getting, and announce what channels games would be on in each of their markets, now I'm willing to go as far as to say that Comcast is lying to their customers. Based on the information Comcast's social media's correspondent told me, and this information found out yesterday, this leads me to believe that only some customers will be able to see games through their on demand service. As someone commented on twitter to me, if you use a service like TiVo, which uses a CableCard to watch TV, you are completely out of luck if you are in an area that is 'fortunate' enough to even get Premier League Extra Time.

So why is it that I think Comcast is lying to their customers?
1) In all of their press communications, they have made mention that Premier League Extra Time will come through in live channels. While games maybe live on demand, it's not an actually a channel one can go to on their TV guide. If you are someone who likes to flip through games, you will have to go through the menus to do so. Furthermore, the fact you will have to go through multiple prompts instead of having the option directly from your on demand screen is pretty pathetic. It should only take a second or two to change the channel, not the 10-15 seconds it will take to work through the multiple prompts you will have to go through on demand.
2) Having games through their on-demand program does not allow one to make use of their DVRs. If you are someone like me, I want to be able to record those games I am not watching live. Sure, I know in the minority on that one, but it's my way of being able to keep up on the entire league so when I write I'm not just talking about the same teams week in and week out. 
3) If you are fortunate enough to have Xfinity's X1 platform, having the ability to record 4 games and watch a fifth will provide you a golden opportunity to be able to watch every game each week, without having to hope games will be archived on demand. As of this writing, there is nothing confirmed through a NBCU spokesman on record that archived games will even be a possibility.

If that wasn't enough for me to write on, this afternoon Comcast issued a press release about taking the game to new heights. For Comcast customers, this is only a half truth. Reading the passage on Premier League Extra Time, they make the same mention they have since announcing their coverage plans. No where do they say it will only be available in selected markets, or that there will be no channels to clue in on to decide what game they want to watch. 

For being the organization that owns these league rights, it's just inexcusable to think they didn't even have the foresight to plan a nationwide rollout of these channels until seemingly a few days before the season starts. They had plenty of practice last year with this kind of set up, with rights they already owned. With their Olympic basketball and soccer channels, I saw them on my TV guide 2 weeks before the start of the soccer competition. The fact they were unable to replicate that success with the Premier League is something they should be ashamed of.

The fact it is looking more and more likely that Premier League Extra Time will not be a nationwide roll out on Comcast, and that those who will have the service will have to watch the game through their on demand service, gives off the worst impression. Comcast is telling their customers that they will not be getting the golden treatment for a property they own. If you are an uVerse or DirecTV customer, you will be getting a better experience than those who are customers of the Premier League rights holder. Comcast subscribers need to let them know they will not settle for second rate service of the upcoming Barclays Premier League season. Contact them on Facebook, Twitter (@comcastcares), and by calling 1-800-COMCAST. Hopefully by now they will have gotten the message. Sadly, it appears they have not. Hopefully Comcast is willing to provide clarification between now and when the start of the season begins Saturday morning.


todd mintz August 16, 2013 at 12:33 AM  

I agree. The word is pathetic. I should have known these changes will make the diehard like me suffer. First online without a Cable Company and living in a Motel and now this. Todd Mintz

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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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