Televised Sports Battle: Who Is Astroturfing Whom?

Televised Sports Battle: Who Is Astroturfing Whom?

Front groups for cable and satellite companies pretending to represent the interest of sports fans? Mysterious “sources” and leaks? This is nothing new to Consumerist readers, but our estranged siblings at Deadspin have some great information on a lobbying and PR war between thinly disguised groups working on behalf of DirectTV and the big cable companies, and their battle over fans and fees. Or is it?

Tampa Bay Handcuffs And Ejects You For Rooting For The Opposing Football Team

Tampa Bay Handcuffs And Ejects You For Rooting For The Opposing Football Team

Steve flew down to Tampa to watch his Raiders play the Buccaneers. After cheering for the away team, he was handcuffed, detained, frisked, and ejected with no explanation. He’d like one.

San Diego Padres' "Loaded Tickets" Are Actually Just A Load

San Diego Padres' "Loaded Tickets" Are Actually Just A Load

Jonathan purchased the heavily promoted Padres’ “loaded tickets” for his family, each costing $40 which includes a $20 credit toward concessions at the park. The family arrived at Petco Park where confused employees told them to wait in several different lines because nobody knew how to process their tickets…strike 1. During the game, Jonathan thought he would go and redeem the concession money on his tickets by getting some food for his family. However, the food-stand employee balked at Jonathan’s loaded ticket, so Jonathan spent $40 out-of-pocket for food…strike 2. After a month of phone tag and a half-dozen calls, park officials refused to compensate him for the money he spent on food at the park…strike 3, yer out. His letter, inside…

MLB.TV: The Premium Content You Paid Extra For Is A Bonus That We Don't Have To Provide

MLB.TV: The Premium Content You Paid Extra For Is A Bonus That We Don't Have To Provide

According to the customer service at Major League Baseball, the MLB.TV Premium package, which lets customers watch baseball games on their computers at higher bandwidths than the basic package and allows users to watch up to six games at once, is a “bonus.” The rep also claims that the difference between 800k and 1.2Mb video speeds, both of which are available to Premium subscribers, is negligible, and in any case, their product info pages says they’re not obligated to provide the 1.2Mb package. Inside, read why all of this is completely wrong.

Seagate Sends You A "Mavericks Suck" Hard Drive

Seagate Sends You A "Mavericks Suck" Hard Drive

Reader Dan tells us:

Ticketmaster Levies Entirely Believable $327 Per Ticket Convenience Charge

Ticketmaster Levies Entirely Believable $327 Per Ticket Convenience Charge

Ticketmaster charged reader Keith $655 in convenience charges for two tickets to tonight’s Rangers/Devils playoff game. Of course, the tickets in section 118 cost nothing, but we still won’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Ticketmaster boasts that special brand of evil that wouldn’t object to levying several hundred dollars in convenience charges to a free Raffi concert.

Wanna See The Red Sox Play The Reds? You Must Also Buy Tickets To Three Other Games

Wanna See The Red Sox Play The Reds? You Must Also Buy Tickets To Three Other Games

A Bostonian now living in Cincinnati, reader Patrick was excited to see that this year’s Major League Baseball schedule includes a Red Sox at Reds series. He went to the Reds’ ticket website to buy tickets for his family, friends, and himself. That’s where things got ridiculous.

9 Confessions Of A Former Sports Authority Manager

9 Confessions Of A Former Sports Authority Manager

A former Sports Authority manager came forward to explain why their coupons are so damn useless. According to our tipster, “the coupons are always a sham,” but apparently, gift cards worth less than $10 can be redeemed for cash. Read his other nuggets of knowledge along with zesty executive customer service contact information, after the jump.

This Sports Authority Coupon For 20% Off Cannot Be Used For Anything

This Sports Authority Coupon For 20% Off Cannot Be Used For Anything

Sports Authority misses you so much that they sent out a 20% off coupon that doesn’t apply to sports equipment or 68 named brands. You might, might be able to get 20% off a pair of socks.

How About Those Super Bowl Ads!

How About Those Super Bowl Ads!

Last night’s commercials were a tame batch of disappointment. Everybody wanted cutesy animals—squirrels, horses, ponies, pigeons, crickets, dogs, lions, and lizards—to endorse their products. After the jump, the four spots that caught our eye.

Super Bowl Ads Are Designed To Fuel Mindless Buying

Super Bowl Ads Are Designed To Fuel Mindless Buying

Companies are paying $90,000 per second tonight to get their products before our recession-fearing eyes, and they plan to get their money’s worth. Tonight’s advertisers will use an array of tactics designed with one purpose: motivating us to buy their products.

How To Avoid Counterfeit Tickets

How To Avoid Counterfeit Tickets

Looking for tickets but worried you’ll get stuck with fakes? Washington’s Attorney General has a few tips to make sure the tickets you buy are more than expensive wallet ornaments.

DirecTV Screws Reader Six Ways From Sunday Night Football

DirecTV Screws Reader Six Ways From Sunday Night Football

About six months ago I moved into my apartment in Chicago to learn that the only service available was with DirecTV. Not only that, but we were forced to use MDU communications, a DirecTV reseller. With no options for television, I reluctantly purchased my own HD receiver off eBay (The HR-20) to avoid entering into a contract with them for two years. When I received my unit, I called MDU to sign up and the CSR at MDU told me that since I had my own receiver, I could sign directly up with DirecTV. Awesome I thought, I can cut out the middle man. The CSR at MDU even transferred me to DirecTV account set up line himself.

StubHub Releases Names Of 13,000 Ticket Resellers To Patriots

StubHub Releases Names Of 13,000 Ticket Resellers To Patriots

The New England Patriots last week received the names of 13,000 people who bought or sold Pats tickets through StubHub. Season ticket holders are rightly concerned that the Pats may now revoke the subscriptions of those who circumvented the Pats’ own Ticketmaster-run system.

How To Get Into A Baseball Game

How To Get Into A Baseball Game

Almost every stadium to which I’ve every been has a sales office open to the public. It’s in here where the managers and full-time sales staff reside during pre-game. These are the people who can get you that extra ticket or find you a seat to a “sold out” event. Don’t waste your breath arguing at the ticket window, those people are usually part-time and can’t do much. Plus, it’s much harder to argue when there’s a big line behind you and a big plastic window in front of you. Sales offices usually have smaller lines and a counter without a window – this makes it much easier to negotiate.

Desperate To Keep "Extra Innings" Customers, Cablevision Offers To "Pay" For MLB.TV

Desperate To Keep "Extra Innings" Customers, Cablevision Offers To "Pay" For MLB.TV

Cable and Satellite companies are in the midst of a battle to attract and retain the lucrative customers who subscribe to out-of-market sports packages. DirecTV and MLB recently came to an agreement that would allow DirecTV exclusive rights to offer the “Extra Innings” out-of-market baseball package. Cable companies are fighting the deal, even arguing their case before a couple senators. So far, DirecTV’s deal stands and Cablevision is fighting back by offering to compensate former “Extra Innings” customers with a credit towards MLB’s online service MLB.TV. A few shocked readers forwarded the email, which we’ve reproduced inside. The deal is only for customers who subscribed to “Extra Innings” last year. —MEGHANN MARCO

Sports Illustrated Refuses To Send Swimsuit Issue To Libraries

Sports Illustrated Refuses To Send Swimsuit Issue To Libraries

It should be up to the institution to decide whether or not they choose to make the issue available to patrons. The publisher should send the issues we’ve paid for. If we throw them in the trash, that’s our prerogative.

Who knew librarians were so down with the swimsuit issue? That’s very cool, somehow.

No Big Super Bowl Discounts on HDTVs?

No Big Super Bowl Discounts on HDTVs?

    “It’s simple. No more big sales on flat-panel TVs before Super Bowl,” said Cohen [industy analyst], adding that retailers realize that if they heavily promote these items again, they’ll have a very difficult time making their same-store sale numbers for January.