One of the few things we missed during our 10 years of sailing was being able to watch college football games during the fall season. We did not have a TV on our sailboat and it was very difficult to impossible to pick up live football games overseas on our computer. Also, the cost of Internet access was cost prohibitive for streaming football games. It was the rare occasion where we had high speed Internet access in a marina that would allow us to use YouTube to catch a football game a day or two after it was played.
Now that we are back in the States, it is a bit easier but currently is still a struggle. This is because of our use of DirecTV instead of Dish satellite service. We have discovered that DirecTV is very restrictive in its use of “local” networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. These networks are available only if: 1) you are within 50 or so miles of your home address, or 2) you call DirecTV and tell them where you are currently located so they can hook your receiver up to these networks at your new locations (see the limitation below), or 3) you pay an extra $15 a month to be permanently hooked up to these networks broadcasting out of either the east coast or west coast, or 4) you buy a separate antenna that can capture local network signals if you are within 50 or so miles of one of their land-based broadcasting antennas.
It should be noted that we did try to be hooked up to these networks (see option 2 above) when we were in Tucson. However, we were told by the DirecTV technician that we could not be connected since Tucson was not within the coverage area of the satellite that sends the signal. Also, we cannot yet sign up for the permanent coverage (see option 3, above) since one needs to send to DirecTV a copy of your RV’s registration (we are still waiting to get that from the state of South Dakota) and once you do that, it will still take up to 3 months for DirecTV to process your request!). Grrrrr!
Our current way of dealing with this BS is to use our computer to get access to ESPN3 through the Internet. Apparently, ESPN3 simultaneously broadcasts the games that are on ABC. For us, this is important because the last two Michigan football games have been on ABC/ESPN3. Thus, despite all of the big bucks we are paying to have DirecTV, we have had to resort to our computer and the Internet to watch Michigan play football. How frustrating is that!
In fairness to DirecTV, we can watch college football games on those DirecTV channels they do provide such as FS1, BTN, SEC, and ESPN, ESPN1 and ESPN2. However, Michigan has not been on those channels these last couple of weeks.
Tomorrow, we head south with the goal to be near Albuquerque, New Mexico. We plan of staying there for a few days to explore that city.