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?

Deadspin’s tipster admits to working in PR on behalf of cable companies, alleges that the mysterious new Sports Fans Coalition is nothing more than a front group for DirectTV. Is it? Who is astroturfing whom?

Fans, Media Recruited (And Manipulated) In Fight Over Televised Sports (Updated) [Deadspin] (Thanks, Bob!)

Comcast Caught Astroturfing About “Big Ten” Channel


Edit Your Comment

  1. Joeb5 says:

    Cable should now be able to lock out sat over sports channels just look at CSN Philly.

    I want CLTV on direct tv and that may happen soon as it was comcast only but is not any more and they DO NOT own it. WGN does and I got a email from the station GM saying they are working on it. any was comcast sucks near be I would have to pay $25-$30 more to go to comcast over direct tv and lot of that is in being foreced to rent comcast carp hardware. and haveing to get sports pack for speed and fox movie channel.

    also other comcast areas have sci-fi and speed in starer / analog but not hear.

  2. Joeb5 says:

    I don’t want cable to have full control and lock out sat over sports channels.

  3. H3ion says:

    Everyone is Astroturfing everyone else and it doesn’t stop at sports. The amount of absolute BS that gets spread around regarding Internet connection speeds, actual costs of subscription, and who has what exclusive content would fertilize any of the Midwest states, with some left over. The fact is that all sports are open for bid and big time sports being a business, the same as any other business, will sell to the highest bidder regardless of the interests of the fans. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s capitalism and the American way and all that stuff, but don’t think for a minute that any sports franchise has any loyalty to its city or its fans if a more lucrative deal is available elsewhere. So now that someone has an exclusive, what does the competition do? Right. They weep and moan as to how the poor fan is being taken advantage of, something they would never do.

    I really shudder to think of the result if Comcast actually did acquire NBC. I hope the Justice Department and FTC as well as the FCC are paying very careful attention.

  4. PsiCop says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of propaganda. Where special interests (of whatever sort) convince the government to do stuff by convincing the people they’re for it, even if it’s not in the people’s best interest.

    It’s a lot like when an interviewer asks someone something by prefacing the question with “People are saying.” In most cases, “people” are not actually “saying” it … rather, the reporter is him/herself, or else, his/her colleagues in the media are. This phrase is then parroted elsewhere in the media as though it’s actually true that “the people” are saying X, and reporters all over the world relay it that way — when the truth is, the interviewer made it all up as the lead-in to a question.

    That’s how controversies get manufactured. It happens ALL THE TIME and it happens EVERYWHERE.

    Yes indeed, it is as H3ion said … the BS is flying in every direction, folks. Better duck before it splats you in the face … if it hasn’t already.

  5. nstonep says:

    Deadspin is worse than gawker…

  6. mac-phisto says:

    decent article. hard to tell what the SFC is really going to be about, but this quote from goodfriend does makes some sense:

    I did some digging around and realized that there really is no single advocacy/lobbying group in DC representing the interests of sports fans. Certainly nothing well funded and methodical.

    he’s got a point. now, i’m not sure SFC is the answer, but what i do now is that while all these groups struggle to squeeze as much cash as possible out of their fans, we get to ride the bench & take whatever comes our way. that doesn’t seem right, especially considering the amount of public funding & support gets thrown at sports.

    we keep down this path & it’s only a matter of time before we’re paying big bucks for a ticket, whether our seat is in the stadium or our living room.

  7. Suulia says:

    Unlike many other companies, Comcast does not hoard it’s owned stations, rather, it leases them to whomever wants them.

    A quick web search shows that Comcast Sports Net, for example, is shown on DirecTV, Dish, Time Warmer, and even their direct competitor, AT&T (among many, many others).