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There is no YES on Metrocast, but subscribers have a choice

By Mike DiMauro

Publication: The Day

Published April 03. 2014 4:00AM

Memo to all the nice folks who have called and e-mailed recently about the Metrocast/YES Network flap that's denying Metrocast customers the chance to watch the Yankees:

Remember what a wise man (or woman) once said: Do not complain about what you permit.

That's another way of suggesting you are not powerless.

You are a customer.

That means you get to choose.

To subscribe to Metrocast or not.

I'm thinking that, you know, "not" is the more prudent choice.

Due diligence was done here Wednesday. Calls to Metrocast spokespersons were alarmingly fruitless, the information from which wasn't more specific than the house ad from the website: "Despite our efforts to reach a mutually-beneficial agreement, YES Network will not renew our contract and will require us to cease distribution of its programming service effective midnight March 31, 2014."

And so that means no YES for all Metrocast subscribers until this is fixed. If it's fixed.

So may I be frank, Frank?

Is there a court order requiring you remain a Metrocast subscriber? Use your power. The power to move your business elsewhere. Don't threaten. Act. I did it long ago. DirecTV is a sports fan's wonderland. More channels. More high definition channels. Specialty channels. And yes: YES.

Metrocast underwhelms me. There are issues, even if it does achieve Glasnost with YES:

• It does not offer CBS Sports Network, which aired several UConn men's and women's games this season. You buy that 46-inch Sony, you want to watch the Huskies on a winter night. Except you can't.

• It does not offer the MLB Network, the baseball-palooza, that allows fans to watch many out-of-market games without paying for the special (and more expensive) MLB package.

• It does not offer ESPN3 or WatchESPN on its Internet package. ESPN3, which streamed the UConn women's conference tournament quarterfinal game last month, is the worldwide leader's online streaming service that airs live programming to your computer, smart phone, tablet, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and any other gadget they sell at Best Buy. It's free, too, provided you live where there is a participating high speed Internet service provider.

Metrocast chooses not to participate.

The providers who do: Access Cable Television, Inc., Advanced Communications Technology, Alameda Power & Telcom, Algona Municipal Utilities, All West Broadband, Allen's TV Cable, Allo Communications LLC, Alpine Communications, Alyrica Networks, Inc., American Broadband, Antietam Cable Television, Inc., Ardmore Telephone, Arkwest, Arrowhead, Arthur Mutual, Arvig Communication Systems, AT&T,ATC, Athena Broadband, Atlantic Broadband, Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC), Audeamus, Ayersville.

And that's just through the letter 'A.' There are hundreds (and hundreds) more.

But not Metrocast.

I've inquired.

Same answer. Despite our efforts to make a mutually beneficial agreement

And then they try to scare subscribers, suggesting their bills will increase if they continue to add all these channels, as if they're truly interested in our wallets.

I am unfamiliar with other options such as Verizon Fios and ATT U-Verse.

But I can tell you the following about DirecTV:

It is not cheap. Its customer service won't ever have a spot in the Smithsonian. Open a book during a thunderstorm. Generally, however, it is the significantly better choice for the sports fan. I'm satisfied. Well more than I was with Metrocast.

One thing I've learned: Corporations rely on customer laziness. In this case, Metrocast believes most of its subscribers are too lazy to disconnect their service, shop around for a new one and then wait the allotted time for installment. They're counting on it. That's why they can act the way they do and deny you the Yankees or UConn.

How about this one time you are more stubborn than they are?

Call another provider. Get the package you want. You may pay a little more. (Or you may not). Then call Metrocast and get rid of it.

Forget about customer service, which is an oxymoron anyway. Forget about e-mailing me, although it is appreciated. Take the time to explore other options and make your move. The baseball season is young. The Yankees are generally lousy in April. (Based on Opening Night, that could extend into August). In a week or two, you'll have a new service with more bells and whistles than the Mystic Irish Parade.

C'mon. You can do it.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.

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