Comcast SportsNet Elects To Show Extra Baseball Innings Instead Of Playoff Hockey

Comcast SportsNet has more sports than they do channels. When fans of the San Jose Sharks tuned in to see playoff hockey last night they were surprised to see a baseball game in progress. When that game went into extra innings, ComcastSportsNet decided to stick with the game and drop playoff hockey.

And they might do it again tonight.

Reader Frank says:

Last night I cooked dinner and made sure it was ready and I was sitting in from of my TV at 7pm Pacific, just in time for the Sharks game. I knew it would be blacked out on the “Versus” sports network, because they would be showing it on our local “Comcast SportsNet Bay Area” sports network. So I turn on the game, and they are showing the end of the baseball game. Ok – thats understandable. Until the baseball game gets tied in the 9th inning, and then goes 20 long minutes into the start of the NHL Playoff game that was supposed to be on instead.
Long story short: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (which used to be Fox SportsNet) burned every single Sharks fan in the entire Bay Area last night to show the end of the baseball game, game 8 out of 162, an APRIL BASEBALL GAME. Are they joking? The Sharks are one of the favored teams to win the Stanley Cup this season and here we are stuck watching the end of a baseball game instead of the first 3 goals of the hockey game.

Who do I have to email at Comcast SportsNet to get through to them to let them know that this is not ok? I work over here at Google and we have an entire mailing list of pissed off people from last night that were stuck watching baseball instead of our home team.

It gets worse though, as the people on Dish Network didn’t get to see the game AT ALL for some reason! Thank god I have DirecTV.


The Sharks themselves aren’t happy either. An executive V.P. wrote to the San Jose Mercury News:

Obviously we were not happy with the situation (just as our fans were not). We were in communication with CSN throughout, pressing to get on the air. We understand the dilemma CSN was in, there are many potential pitfalls that can’t be avoided when televising live sports. This puts them in a difficult situation trying to serve many masters and fans of the different sports teams they cover. However, I will say that our position is that a playoff game should trump a regular-season game. I believe the A’s would feel the same if the situation were reversed. We will work with CSN in an effort to assure we can avoid this situation for future playoff games.

Any angry Sharks fans out there? Any A’s fans who’ll be angry if their regular season game gets bumped for playoff hockey?

Comcast SportsNet has more sports than it can handle [SJMN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. boandmichele says:

    baseball fan: so, what is wrong with that? it was overtime

    hockey fan: yeah, they suck!

  2. CharlieFogg says:

    Since the “Heidi” game, when a network switched off a big football game and missed a huge play to go the show Heidi, networks are hesitant to switch off any sporting event before it ends.

    They should have planned ahead and moved the game to another channel so it wouldn’t overlap. That’s why in NY there is MSG 2 on some nights. In other cases, the sports network would buy time on another channel and show the game there.

  3. bsalamon says:

    @CharlieFogg: That’s why NY is better than San Jose.
    Go Rangers

  4. oakie says:

    i’m a baseball fan, and think hockey is just soccer mixed with figure skating… two “sports” i could care less about.

    therefore, i find this situation hilarious.

  5. Chols says:

    I was watching Mississippi State play Memphis in the recent NCAA Basketball tournament, and service was interrupted to broadcast the Arkansas vs. North Carolina game.

    And I was in Starkville…

  6. chicagocooper says:

    Regular season baseball is much more important than any hockey game. Now if it was overtime in a bull riding competition then I would advocate the switch to hockey.

  7. catcherintheeye says:

    Did anyone else have their Cubs game from last night against Pitt cut off for some poker show?

    Not to mention it was shown on CSN+, instead of the “regular” channels

  8. JAFO says:

    I was in San Jose watching the Sharks on Versus HD on Comcast… Where were you? Did you even check Versus to see if the game was on?

  9. thirdbase says:

    There is still professional hockey?

  10. XopherMV says:

    This is exactly why blackout rules are a piece of crap.

  11. improbable42 says:

    What I don’t get is that they have two channels (or Fox Sports did, before it changed to Comcast Sports Net a few weeks ago). Seems like they could have easily put one of the games on CSN+, and everyone would have been happy.

    I was at the game, so I can’t complain, but if this happens while I’m watching from home, I’ll be pretty pissed.

  12. wickedpixel says:

    They should have PIPed it. Since both baseball and hockey are slow on the excitement (I don’t mean that as a dig – I’m a fan of both) they could have gone back and forth as something eventful happened.

  13. bonzombiekitty says:

    And here we have yet another situation in which Comcast can do no right. If they had switched over to the hockey game, people would be complaining that they missed the end of a great baseball game.

  14. Toof_75_75 says:

    Playoffs > Regular Season

  15. Clipdat says:

    @JAFO: The SD Versus channel was blacked out in the Bay Area. However, the HD Versus channel was not. So, people that have an HDTV were able to tune into Versus HD (which was showing the CBC/Hockey Night in Canada feed) and watch the game despite baseball being on CSN & CSN HD. (As well as another baseball game being broad casted on CSN+)

    I’m a Sharks fan and I experienced this last night. I’m happy to see that this made the front page of the Consumerist. Despite being able to catch the game as it started on Versus HD, I was thoroughly annoyed at the situation.

  16. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Couldn’t the Google employees each sell like one share of stock they have and have enough to buy their own satellite network?

  17. JAFO says:

    @bonzombiekitty I was watching BOTH games in HD on Comcast last night. I saw the end of the baseball game and the beginning of the hockey game. Both were very exciting. Too bad other providers saw fit not to broadcast both games.

  18. JAFO says:

    @Clipdat Thanks for the clarification, I am truly sorry for those people that don’t have HD yet.

  19. chicagocooper says:

    @catcherintheeye: I didn’t catch the game till the 11th, but it stayed on till the end for me.

  20. lightaugust says:

    The end of any tied game is going to be more exciting than the beginning of any other game, right?

  21. karmaghost says:

    @lightaugust: Except when it’s baseball. I’d rather watch golf.

  22. Kavatar says:

    Well, looking at the box score from yesterday, the A’s didn’t even go to extra innings. Yes, they came back from a 1 run deficit in the top of the 9th, but they were up 6-3 in the bottom, so they probably weren’t going to lose the game. I know it was a hard decision, but this is playoff hockey. They had to have at least THOUGHT that the baseball game had a chance of running long. Did they really have no other option than to just not show the entire start of the hockey game?

    I wonder what would have happened HAD the game gone into extra innings.

  23. Buran says:

    Wait, what?

    People are bitching because the end of a program-in-progress wasn’t cut off? What about the people who’d been watching THAT show? You’d be bitching if they HAD cut it off, if you had been watching it!

    Answer: Pick up the next show as soon as the over-long show is over, and push everything down the line back until you finish with your programming for the day, delaying going off-air as long as necessary and cutting out commercial breaks as much as may be required to recoup that lost time.

    Everyone gets to see their show. Everyone is happy.

  24. smartwatermelon says:

    CSNBA, like FSNBA before them, always stays with the game in progress until it ends before switching to the next game. This is part of their carriage agreement with MLB and the other major sports leagues.

    They do have a secondary channel, CSN-Plus (formerly FSN-Plus) but last night another baseball game was on that channel.

  25. Kevino says:

    I noticed this last night too and couldn’t figure out why communist cast would show a baseball game over the freaking playoffs for another sport. Then again, look who we’re talking about.

    More of a reason to get rid of them, too bad it’s my roommates cable.

  26. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    A channel should always stay on the program in progress.

  27. Zanorfes says:

    The number for Comcast Sports Bay Area is 415-296-8900. Give them an earful.

  28. Shutaro says:

    It’s a matter of ratings. There are far more people interested in seeing April Baseball than there are in seeing Playoff Hockey. I mean, up until today I didn’t even know they still played Hockey.

  29. wolftrouble says:

    To all of you expressing your various sports preferences or lack thereof – Please shut up. Do you comment on every thread covering a product or service you don’t use and never plan to use, announcing your non-interest? (Actually, I think some of you do…)

    Anyway. This has been a problem for a few years now, with regards to NHL playoffs. Even back when ESPN covered hockey there was this bizarre three-way relationship between the regular national (ESPN back then, Versus now), the playoff-only national (NBC then and now, with a little Fox way back when) and the local (FSN for us out here until like 3 weeks ago, now CSN). It’s made worse by the availability of HD content, believe it or not!

    I have Comcast, my friend has Dish. I watched the first half of the game at my place, last at his. As far as I can tell, for me at least, there was the CSN feed, the Versus SD feed, and the Versus HD feed. There may have been a CSN HD feed as well, I don’t know (if so I didn’t get it). Bear in mind there’s a CSN+ channel too, SD, that game sometimes appear on. So on any given playoff night, the game I want to watch *might* be playing on:

    CSN (SD)
    CSN+ (SD)
    CSN HD (HD)
    Versus (SD)
    Versus/Golf HD (HD)
    NBC (SD+HD)

    Or none! Or more than one? It’s very hard to tell. I had to hunt to find where on Comcast I could catch it (Versus HD) although my local listings claimed it was on CSN HD (it wasn’t). Amusingly I COULDN’T get it on CSN… But my buddy, who’s on Dish network, could. What?

    Then, once you find the game, you have to hope they’ll stay with it. I remember throwing things at the screen a few years back when Bonds was in the HR race and they kept cutting away from the Sharks playoff game every goddamned time he was at bat. Yes, I know baseball is more popular than hockey! But WTF was FSN thinking, that there’s legions of fans out there watching an NHL playoff game saying to themselves, “Please cut away for Bonds, please cut away for Bonds… YES!” I promise you, less than 1% of the people watching the Sharks game gave a flying fuck what Bonds did at bat. If wanted to watch a baseball game, I’D WATCH THE BASEBALL GAME.

    I sort of like hockey being a ‘secret’ sport, one that doesn’t get as much press and coverage as other sports. I don’t really know why it’s the case, but it’s kind of nice to feel like it’s a small club. But for god’s sake, please, if you’re going to sign a contract with the NHL to show the games… SHOW THE GAMES.

  30. JustAGuy2 says:

    Hockey just doesn’t have that many fans. The 07 Stanley Cup Final consistently (even when on NBC) got less than a 2 rating. The 07 World Series had average ratings that were 5x as high.

    Also, while I like hockey, this game was the 1st round of the playoffs, which is the rough baseball equivalent of a game that’s two weeks after the All Star break.

  31. kenboy says:


    I like hockey and baseball pretty much equally. I think the right solution here, since the cable company owns the sports network, would have been for the cable company to put the start of the hockey game on one of their other many channels — I’d be stunned if there wasn’t one that was in static or color bars anyway, but I’m sure they could have found something with few regular viewers to put it on.

    Personally, I get really aggravated when the ending of an exciting out-of-market 1 pm football game gets cut off so they can bring us the meaningless kickoff of the 4:00 local team game, too…

  32. groberts1980 says:

    To everyone bashing either baseball or hockey, please go die in a fire. Your opinions are not relevant here. I like baseball and hockey (I live in St. Louis). Personally, I believe playoff hockey is more important than April baseball.

    If the Blues are in the playoffs, and the Cardinals are in the 10th inning of game NINE for the year, I’d rather them switch to the Blues playoff game.

  33. Traveshamockery says:

    I couldn’t give a crap about Hockey, but as a sports lover, it’s unacceptable to pre-empt a postseason game with a regular season game.

    Unless the postseason game is soccer. Then you could put on pre-season underwater basket weaving and I wouldn’t care.

  34. tripleR6 says:

    look, you don’t just show a 3 hour game and then drop it in extra innings. Its obviously a close game and people want to see the OUTCOME.

    And hockey sucks anyways.

  35. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    @oakie: you forgot random street fights

  36. ElizabethD says:

    Hockey > baseball ALWAYS.

  37. @JustAGuy2: This isn’t the Stanley Cup Playoffs vs. the World Series. This is the Stanley Cup Playoffs vs. APRIL BASEBALL.

  38. CarMatchPro says:

    Baseball is the eqivalent of golf as far as excitement.
    Playoff hockey is like no other sport on this planet and all you nay-sayers have never have watched or been to a game. It’s 2.5 month testament of will and determination. Lots of blood,shiners, broken bones, aches and pains…and Baseball is being compared to Hockey?? Please.
    What a travesty!

  39. noisetube says:

    Sharks fan here; makes me a little happier I’m not in the Bay Area anymore. I watched my favorite team (since first grade, when they were announced) lose last night..


  40. Crovie says:

    I’m surprised that there wasn’t some kind of backup plan to air the hockey game if baseball spilled over its timeslot. I don’t watch a whole lot of baseball but I do find myself flipping to shows that were (according to the tv listings) supposed to start 15 minutes ago, only to see the baseball game still in the top of the 9th inning.

    It seems to be only baseball which has such trouble keeping to a schedule. Given the nature of the game (no fixed time limit) it’s not that surprising but you’d think they would have learned to expect a baseball game to run late by now.

  41. Booji_Boy says:

    Actually the whole game WAS available on Dish. It was shown on Versus, so no Randy or Drew, but Sharks fans were still able to see it on Dish.

  42. drunxor says:

    fu*% comcast. their service is always horrible and they never install stuff the right way the first time. it took them 3 times to hook up my internet. last night i was left looking at my tv in disbelief when i turned to channel 40 at 7pm. i planned my whole day around that game and they left me hangin.

    thanks comcast

  43. thesabre says:

    @Toof_75_75: 1st Period < Extra Innings.

    Comcast runs a business. They will broadcast the game that will get the most viewers. They had people watching an ongoing game and didn’t want to take a risk by kicking those people off and hoping people are going to be watching the first period of the first round of hockey playoffs.

    And because the Sharks suck. Go Caps. Nice to see you make the playoffs for the first time in 5 years.

  44. OsiUmenyiora says:

    Hockey? That like some contest with sticks or something, isn’t it?

  45. failurate says:

    Doesn’t 75% of the teams make the playoffs? And hasn’t winter finally passed? And isn’t hockey season 10 months long?

    Put all that in a blender and you get yourself a big fat jiggly who gives a *uck.

  46. lakecountrydave says:

    I am not a sports fan, but I believe I know where the precident for this comes from. I must be vague as I do not recall the actual events as I was quite young at the time (a long, long ago) I believe that it stems from a football game that featured the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were losing and the network switched at the designated time to the next program. The Browns ended up coming back and winning. This caused Browns fans to raise He**. The networks then said that they would not do that again. I beleive the FCC might have been involved as well. If I am mistaken please forgive me. Like I said it was a long time ago and I was a young child (living in Cleveland).

  47. WV.Hillbilly says:

    Don’t you mean figure skating mixed with professional wrestling?

    The Stanley Cup “finals” last for two months.
    And the guy missed 20 minutes?
    He and the other 12 hockey fans in the US should get over it.

  48. Metropolis says:

    As a huge hockey fan, I feel for these viewers. Luckily, in the NYC area I usually have 2-3 opitions to view NJ Devils games.

  49. clementine says:

    I am also a huge hockey fan but they unfortunately had to show the rest of the game that was already in progress. However, the NHL has adjusted game time stars for tv scheduling conflicts before. Why didn’t they think that the baseball game might have run over? If they had run over and the NHL game was delayed in anticipation, it wouldn’t be a big deal. If they didn’t run over, then the announcers and sports talking heads would have had more time to talk about the upcoming game and make their predictions, etc.

  50. clementine says:

    Whoops – I meant game time starts in the above post. Sorry about that.

  51. t0fu says:

    haters are out in full force this week