Monday, August 17, 2009

Cable-less Football: Part One of Another Effing AMSL Series

Here's my damage. I had to get rid of my cable TV. I essentially bought it both for La Liga on GolTV and the Premier League Setanta Sports Canada (which still exists here, still costs $14.99/month, and is still the last place on the dial to catch three PL fixtures in a row on Saturday), but because of weekend professional music commitments I was only able to catch the Saturday fixtures, and with a wedding coming up the cable was a prime candidate to get the axe (donation button is on the right).

So what does someone who presumes to write about football do when they can't watch it in the comfort of their own living room?

Justin TV

I've learned quite a bit about Justin TV over the years, mostly from trying to watch grainy international qualifiers that cut out around the 65 minute mark. So I already know the basics.

First, you must methodically try each and every sport listed channel on their menu list, regardless of whether it even advertises the game in question. Be prepared for looped Arsenal Man United matches, interviews with Sir Alex Ferguson, or the 2003 Champions League final all posing as the match you want to watch.

Once you've found the appropriate feed, set the timer. If it has English commentary, is properly labelled and of excellent streaming quality, you have about twenty minutes to half an hour before this sucker goes offline due to copyright. What you want is the choppy bastard that cuts in and out, has third-hand Cantonese play-by-play, and is presented as LPGA 2008. This one will be up at least until the middle of the second half.

The Boho

This is what I did on Saturday for the most part, and when that failed, I tried out local restaurant Boho's on Roncesvalles Avenue. They have a little bar in the back called the "Liverbird" featuring neat little shields for each and every Premier League club, two flat screen televisions, and no customers whatsoever. I ended up there halfway through Villa's tragicomedy against Wigan to a blissfully empty space and had some fun trading bad gambling tips with one of the kitchen staff. Had the Hobo scramble which was tasty and reasonably priced, although the waitress didn't give me good change for a nice 20% tip which always bothers me.

In any case I got my fill, so that was Premier League Week One sorted. Each week I'm going to try something different so you can laugh and laugh and laugh with your PVR and your Sharp flatscreen and the tears soaking your replica shirt from loneliness.


Craig said...

I found that a trip to the pub (actually a German biergarten in Upstate NY) with my wife to watch a match cost about the same as one month of Setanta via NexTV. Eventually those pub trips will cost you more, so a heavy dose of streams are where it's at.

Colin Smith said...

I've heard about the Boho, but haven't gone there yet... I live in Parkdale. Should check it out sometime.

The Football Factory on Bathurst is worth visiting.

I haven't had cable in six years.

I'm a huge fan of

It's how I watch the SPL... Glassy-eyed on a Saturday morning.