By TC Kirkham
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a HUGE action sports fan. But as such, I’ve been waging a war with my local cable system for going on five years now, and it’s time to take it to the next level…
HEY COMCAST! I WANT MY FUEL-TV!
For the past five or so years, I have been sending my local Comcast cable system an email every four to six weeks asking them to please pick up Fuel-TV. And every time, I get back a form letter saying that they’re always making programming choices, and that Fuel-TV is not presently on their list of planned pickups.
Why the hell not? Surely I’m not the ONLY person writing to our local cable system asking to have the network added. I can’t be – I see too many kids on skateboards and doing tricks on their bikes in the neighborhood to be the only person asking for it.
But NOOOOOOOOOO…they’re too interested in the other “niche” markets. Our local Comcast office apparently doesn’t care about the younger demographic in our market, if you look at what they’ve added to our system in the past two years.
The most recent pick-up? Retirement Living TV. Last time I looked, this was probably a good idea. But do we REALLY need EIGHT different shopping channels? Why do we get SIX different “sports niche” channels from CBS if there’s no market for them? WHY?
What really sucks about the situation is that I don’t have any options. Apparently, our city council is doing their best to block Verizon FIOS from coming to town, and we rent an apartment and have no option to use a dish. So what it comes down to is that I’m STUCK with Comcast.
I’ve heard that Comcast keeps Fuel-TV off its entire network of systems because of networks they own, and if that’s true, then action sports fans around the country need to rise up and let their local Comcast outlet know we’re not gonna put up with it anymore. Comcast apparently feels they have several channels of their own that provide coverage of action sports. That’s partially true – Comcast has a stake in VS, which does have some coverage. And the several CBS College channels have action sports once in a while. And I’ve heard that they also feel Fuel-TV would provide too much competition for them.
But I have a question – WHY is Fuel-TV the ONLY Fox-owned network that is NOT on Comcast‘s systems? We get every other channel owned by Rupert Murdoch and his massive TV empire – heck, we even carry that dopey Fox Reality Channel (soon to be changing into something else, I hear). We picked up Fox Business almost from the day that it went on the air. So Comcast obviously has a decent relationship with Fox. So WHY NO FUEL-TV?
To their credit, Comcast’s On-Demand service does provide SOME action sports programming, from Havoc TV and NBC Action Sports. And Universal HD TV frequently repeats the Dew Tour segments and the Jeep World Of Adventure Sports. So that’s something, I suppose. And the proposed Olympic channel that I keep reading about – a venture between Comcast, NBC, and the US Olympic Committee – would be cool. But a lot of Havoc-TV’s clips are several years old, as are the repeats of the Dew Tour and Jeep show. And…more importantly… it’s STILL NOT FUEL-TV!
I know some of the Fuel-TV shows are on Hulu and on iTunes. But it’s still the principle of the issue. I cannot think of one single good reason why Comcast refuses to pick up Fuel-TV. Maybe if they ever give me an HONEST explanation instead of a standard form letter as an answer to one of my queries, I’ll stop bothering them…
But until then….
C’mon COMCAST – I WANT MY FUEL-TV!!!
TC Kirkham is proud to be the oldest Expression Session blogger. He’s a lifelong fan of extreme sports and idolized the original Dogtown crew as a teenager. When not blogging about action sports, he’s blogging about movies, music, and more on his website, Popcorn N Roses.