When TCU first announced that the Frogs would be traveling to Clemson this fall, I was pretty giddy at the prospect of making the trip up to South Carolina for the game. But then I got the "save the date" for my cousin's wedding and realized that my inclusion on said trip was just not meant to be. Oh well, I thought, at least they're playing a big-name ACC opponent, so I'll surely be able to watch the game on TV, right?
How in the WORLD is a game between the #15 team in the country and one of the ACC teams with the largest fan bases NOT ON TV?!? If this game were being played at TCU, I guarantee you it would be on national TV on Versus (which nearly everyone has) and most likely in HD. But since it's being played at Clemson, a member of a "major" conference, the game is only available online...and only available to certain people online at that- you have to be a customer of an ESPN360-affiliated ISP (internet service provider) to be able to watch.
For all of the complaining that we do about the MWC's TV contract, at least we don't have to deal with this 360 bullshit all the time. Basically what ESPN has done here (and remember, ESPN was founded to be and still bills itself as the "worldwide leader" in providing sports fans with the prime content they desire) is they've paid the ACC millions of dollars for the exclusive right to broadcast their games...and then warehoused attractive games like TCU-Clemson so that fans CAN'T watch...just so that their competition can't provide those games, either. I'm sure that most of the guys that founded ESPN in the late '70s with the intent of providing sports content 24 hours a day to fans are probably all either dead or retired now, because I'm sure if they were still in charge, they wouldn't support this type of competition-squashing that in the end, hurts the fans.
Unfortunately, with all the billions that ESPN has made over the years hacking your eyes and ears to a bloody pulp with their over-coverage of the Yankees, Lakers and Red Sox, they can pretty much do whatever they want. So instead of continuing to whine, let's look at what you need to do to make the most of this crappy situation and be able to watch the game on Saturday if you're not among those making the trip.
First, go to ESPN360.com and click on either "get access" or "watch now". That will prompt a drop-down menu of 360-affiliated ISPs (common ones on the list: AT&T, Grande, Comcast. Common ones NOT on the list: Charter, Timer Warner). If yours is on there, you're golden- just follow the instructions from there and you should be good to go.
If your ISP isn't among those that carry ESPN360 (read: they decline to pay ESPN exorbitantly for the right), don't start crying like I did- you still may be in luck. There is a feature on 360 called "remote access" that allows customers of 360-affiliated ISPs to watch from any computer. So you'll need to find a family member or friend who does have 360 to go sign up for remote access and then give you their username and password so that you can watch from your computer. (Before you go and start sharing usernames and passwords with everyone you know...apparently some Georgia Tech fans did this a few weeks back and ended up getting blacked out of watching the game once the IT people at ESPN figured out their scheme. Just a warning.)
Pretty ridiculous that you, as a fan of the #15 team in the country, have to jump through all of these hoops just to watch your team play, right? It's all very confusing and you know what? I can't even tell you with any certainty that the information I've provided you with is even accurate! I apologize if it isn't, but I'm even skeptical that this will all work out. If remote access to ESPN360 ends up working, great- if not, we're very lucky to have the great radio broadcast team of Brian Estridge and John Denton. There have been a few threads on killerfrogs discussing how to access 360, and I would recommend reading as much as you can on the situation so that you don't end up having a panic attack on Saturday. Those threads can be read here and here.
If all else fails, there is a game-watching party starting at 2:00pm Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.