Thursday, April 11, 2013

Letang is back; Problems with Comcast NHL Center Ice package

By Finesse

A few afternoon updates...

- The Pens announced that Kris Letang is back tonight against Tampa.  This is, obviously, an enormous upgrade, especially to the Pens' transition game.  The rest of the lineup is a gametime decision, which basically means Bylsma is going to wait until as close to the start of the game as possible to scratch Simon Despres.

- The Prime Minister is skating.

- No updates on Crosby or Neal.  This feels concerning because it seems like Crosby has been injured forever.  It's been 10 days.

- I watch the NHL mostly through the Center Ice package which I get through Comcast.  I sent the below email to them this morning, after getting jobbed by them on the phone countless times.  If you, or anyone you know, has complaints about the NHL Center Ice package, tell them to email their complaints to and/or send tweets to @ComcastMichael.
I'm following up on a Twitter exchange I had with Michael Cardone (@comcastmichael) regarding the NHL Center Ice package, and specifically channel 790. My account number is ... 
Regarding this specific issue: Channel 790 is supposed to be the second HD channel devoted to the NHL Center Ice Package, but this channel has NEVER worked. The listings tell me that it is showing a game but all I get are color bars. This has been going on all season. I've called at least 5 times and each time the customer service representative tells me, "We'll send this to our engineers and it should be fixed within 24 hours." Obviously, that has never happened, nor have I ever received any follow up. An image of my screen is attached.  
The reason this is such a problem is because the quality of the NHL Center Ice standard definition channels is borderline unwatchable. There is only one channel (Ch. 789) that actually shows games in high definition. The rest of the channels (mostly in the 770s) show the games in standard definition. It's 2013 -- Comcast, and the NHL should be ASHAMED to charge people for a product this poor.  
I wish Comcast would treat us NHL fans who want the Center Ice package as even second-class citizens. Instead, it's like we don't even exist. I've spoken to numerous customer service reps who have never even heard of the NHL, let alone the Center Ice package. From them I hear, "well, it's showing that the NHL network is in HD on channel 858." They don't understand that the NHL Network and NHL Center Ice package are not the same thing. This is unacceptable.  
To be honest, the ship has probably sailed for me continuing to get the Center Ice package through Comcast because even if you fix channel 790 and actually show me the games I'm paying for, 2 HD channels in 2013 is unacceptable. I'll almost certainly be getting the Center Ice through Apple TV moving forward.  
I'm hoping that this email receives a response not just from a technician, but from whoever at Comcast is actually in charge of the NHL Center Ice Package so that 1) I know that someone there actually knows the Center Ice package exists, and 2) I can actually be told WHEN and HOW this is going to be fixed instead of getting a "we'll send this to our engineers," knowing full-well that nothing will ever change.


  1. Easiest solution ever. Get Directv.

  2. Would if I could, not a realistic option where I live.

  3. Not the easiest solution ever then. I am in a temporary apartment right now and have Time Warner. When I told the installer that I wanted NHL Center Ice he told me I don't have to pay extra for it because NHL Network is included in the Sports Tier. I almost punched him...can't wait to get Directv back.

  4. If you have an input on your TV for your computer, I would go with Game Center Live instead of Center Ice. I live in KY - so it's my only option. The dude at Insight didn't even know what Center Ice was, since hockey doesn't exist here.

    I get irritated because all of the nationally televised games are blacked out. (I get the NBCSN games - but the NHLN belongs to the damn league!) But if you get those two stations, that would be irrelevant for you anyway. I just don't have that much cable and have to resort to stealing feeds.

    But the feeds on GCL are all great - cheaper, beautiful picture, virtually never skips. And I only remember it being down briefly twice in the two seasons that I've had it.

  5. Yeah I have GCL as well. It's not ideal... but I don't have cable or satellite at the moment so it's my only option.

  6. This is literally the exact problem I had with Comcast/Center Ice. I switched to GCL this year and I'm not switching back...unless it's possible to get DirecTV in my next apartment.

  7. Is there a way to get out-of-market hockey on my computer with DVR capabilities? I only keep my TV service for the hockey and I work evenings and need to watch the games after they are played.

    It would be nice to be free of the Cable Corporations.

    1. I think Game Center Live through allows you to start the games on your own schedule.