Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why I Missed the WFA Pay-Per-View 

I was all set to have the best of both worlds tonight. I have two legal cable boxes from Time Warner Cable in New York City, two TV's, and two VCR's. One was set up to watch and tape the World Fighting Alliance (WFA) pay-per-view, which I was, of course, planning to pay for. The other was set for HBO, with the live fight between welterweight champ Carlos Baldomir and Arturo Gatti, and the tape of last week's Shane Mosley-Fernando Vargas pay-per-view.

Then I tried to order the WFA pay-per-view.

I have a digital box, put on channel 301 which shows In Demand 1, pressed the blue "B" button for buy, but then got a message that the order was being processed.

There it sat for many minutes, so I called the local number for the cable bandits, 718-358-0900, which connects you to their call center in northern Ontario. Some rude woman told me that they cannot process any "MOD" orders, meaning movies on demand. I told her this was a live show on channel 301, and of course she seemed confused about their own system. But she insisted there was nothing she could do.

This is one time such nonsense is not a result of corporate shenanigans against a competitor. Almost the same thing happened with HBO pay-per-view's Mayweather-Judah fight in April, which could not be ordered here, and their De La Hoya-Mayorga fight in May, which I only succeeded in ordering by getting a rare intelligent and helpful customer service rep on the phone for several minutes. And I mentioned all this to Mark Taffet, head of HBO pay-per-view, which of course is also part of the Time Warner media monster, and he told me he had gotten numerous reports of similar problems all over Manhattan with Time Warner Cable.

I pay for all these services, and for the ability to be able to order pay-per-views, which requires their digital box which, of course, costs extra. There is just no point in wasting any more time trying to order pay-per-views from this outfit.

It is also ridiculous for promoters to base their business plans on pay-per-view revenue from cable companies. Besides shutting out most fans, especially the younger ones, these videos usually end up rather quickly online somewhere.

Yes, these are pirated videos. But with the big pirates of the cable monopolies sticking you up for services and not delivering, I can no longer complain too loudly about the little pirates, who usually do not even profit from what they do.
The promoters should drop pay-per-view on cable and switch to Internet pay-per-view. They won't have to share most of the revenue with the cable sharks and can reach the entire world.

Anyway, the Mosley-Vargas 2 replay is almost done, so let me get back to the tube.

Screw the cable monopolies. Screw TV. Screw newspapers. Long live the Internet.

Update: Now MySpace is down! I shoulda gone to the bar.

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