DISH Network customers in V.I. miss out on World Series action
Published: October 25, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - When Brian Quinn turned on his television Wednesday night to watch the World Series, he thought maybe there was a glitch with his network connection.
On his screen, an episode of "Bones," a criminal investigation sitcom, was playing instead of the first of seven games pitting the Boston Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"Disappointed wouldn't be the word," said Quinn, a DISH Network customer who thought that he would be able to watch the series from home. However, Quinn found out that he was not the only fan missing baseball's annual championship. Fans all over the territory had one more reason to feel like they were not truly part of the states.
"What are we? In outer Mongolia?" Quinn said.
Quinn, who originally is from Massachusetts, now lives on St. Croix and immediately hopped online to a message forum with other Virgin Islanders.
He found that other DISH Network customers in the Virgin Islands also could not watch the game from their own televisions, despite the claim from DISH Network representatives on Tuesday that the game indeed would be on.
Well, technically, it was - just on a channel in the 600s, and one that just so happens to be in Spanish and also carries an additional cost.
"DISH does not have a local channel option in the U.S. Virgin Islands to view the World Series," Dish Network spokesman John Hall said Thursday in an email. "DISH offers coverage of the World Series in Spanish on Fox Deportes, and customers can subscribe to a package with that channel."
He did not answer phone calls about whether the game would be live or whether there is a reason that it was not offered as part of the basic DISH Network package.
In the states, anyone with the same package would be able to sit back and watch the game without issue.
Not here, though.
"The game isn't on. I've checked all the channels," said Scott Long on Wednesday evening. "It says it's supposed to be on."
Long, who is a Cardinals fan, and whose girlfriend is a Red Sox fan, said that the two of them were going to drive to a bar to watch the game, as he was not in the mood for an episode of "Bones," nor was Quinn, who instead watched the game on the Internet.
Major League Baseball spokesman Jeff Heckleman said Thursday it was the first he had heard of the situation. As far as he knew, he thought that the World Series always had been available in the territory, he said in an email Thursday.
In 2007, games in the postseason been had withheld from viewers outside the United States mainland, as the games were being shown on TBS, which had a contract with the league.
For several years, the games were unavailable or "blacked out" for the Virgin Islands, though the issue was solved in 2010 with a four-year contract, Heckleman said.
Last year, a similar 8-year contract was reached between the league, Turner Sports and FOX.
"No idea why this would be happening, perhaps something specific to DISH," Heckelman said in an email Thursday.
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