As if I didn’t have enough reasons already. One of the best things about having a TiVo is that I can record the live Tour de France stages and watch them when I get home, instead of the half-hour summaries that I sometimes got to see back in the years BT (Before TiVo).
The only channel that carries Le Tour (as well as many other bike races) is OLN. OLN isn’t exactly TiVo friendly – I set it up to record “The Lance Chronicles” and “The Road to the Tour” as well as “Bicycle Racing”, and since they almost never tell you what episode they’re showing, you have to manually tell the TiVo to record them all, and about 75% of the time you get one you’ve seen before. The other 25% the time you get something else entirely, something that neither the TiVo guide nor the Time Warner cable guide knew about. Sometimes it’s something marginally interesting, like another bike race, sometimes it’s something totally uninteresting like a hunting or fishing show.
The Sunday before last (June 27th), my recorded a whole bunch of what it said was “The Lance Chronicles” off of OLN. Instead, I got infomercials, every time, all day long. Well, I figured, OLN has shown something other than what they promised before – although I have to admit they usually had *something* to do with the theme of the “Outdoor Life Network”.
Along comes this Sunday, the 4th, and the second day of the highlight of the sporting year for me. And I was in a hotel room in Ottawa, and fortuitiously turned on the TV and caught the last few minutes of the race on OLN. Ok, a bit of a spoiler, but I don’t mind a spoiler or two. Click forward a few hours, and I’m home, and I check out the TiVo, and it’s recorded 2.5 hours of infomercials off of what both the TiVo and the cable box guide assure me is OLN’s coverage of the Tour de France.
I get extremely mad. I know for a fact that OLN showed the race at that time, because I was watching it in Ottawa. So why did Time Warner show informercials instead?
I fired off a nasty note on the local Time Warner newsgroup and so did a multitude of others, and the Time Warner sysadmin guy who regularly reads that newsgroup forwarded our comments and complaints to the powers that be at Time Warner. He reported back today – Time Warner claims that they don’t modify the outgoing feed in any way, and it must be OLN that showed the infomercials. TIME WARNER, YOU ARE LYING SCUMBAGS!
I wrote to Time Warner’s business office and says that if I miss the Tour coverage on this Sunday, I will be a DirectTV and Frontier DSL customer by Wednesday.