A little while ago, I had a few minutes, turned off the laptop and turned on the TV. Not something I do often but I decided to kick it old school. Why not? Sportsnet was on.
The show was Bob McCown’s Primetime Sports so I was actually watching a RADIO show from a Rogers owned radio station re-purposed as a TV product by Rogers to air on a Rogers owned TV network. Guess what they were talking about? Yup. The Toronto Blue Jays. Also owned by Rogers. And the cable that was serving the content? You guessed it. Naturally, when they cut to commercial break, the first spot was for Rogers Wireless. Ted would be so proud.
I was paying for Rogers cable.
So I could I watch a Rogers owned radio program.
Re-purposed and produced for TV by Rogers.
To air on a Rogers owned network.
So they could discuss a sports team owned by Rogers.
That featured advertising for Rogers products.
All being sent through a PVR rented from the Mother Ship.
Is this evil or is this just old fashioned good business?
I know I may be in the minority here but I don’t think Rogers is evil. Not even close. Do I bitch about them? Of course. Who doesn’t? But what’s the difference between controlling our local content and Apple selling us a phone that connects to an app store, a music library, and a movie rental catalogue, and that synchs with a tablet, a web service, and laptop that almost exclusively features Apple software? I know, I know.. good service.
Bad service doesn’t make them evil, though. It just gives us a choice.
Capitalism is the purest form of democracy. If you don’t like their stations, their magazines, their sport teams, or their wireless plans, you have a choice. You can cast your vote by not buying. There are three new wireless carriers who all offer better deals and, presumably, better service. If enough people move, I can guarantee that things will improve.
Sadly, Canadians seem to be in an abusive relationship with many big institutions. We bitch and moan but we stay. I think that says more about us than it does about them.
So tune out. Stop watching. Start a movement. Or stay and live with it. The choice is yours.
- The Fan scores early win over TSN radio (theglobeandmail.com)
- Rogers to launch Sportsnet magazine (theglobeandmail.com)
- Rogers to put muscle in print with Sportsnet magazine (business.financialpost.com)
- FAN ratings soar 13 per cent despite competition (thestar.com)