The TV, Internet and Phone Blog

Information on Cable, Digital Television, and Internet Providers

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – March 21-27

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, March 21. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, March 21
    • Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors, 7pm on ESPN
    • San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves, 9:30pm on ESPN
  • Wednesday, March 22
    • Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards, 8pm on ESPN
    • New York Knicks at Utah Jazz, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, March 23
    • Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat, 7pm on NBATV
  • Friday, March 24
    • Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks, 8pm on NBATV
  • Saturday, March 25
    • Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30pm on NBATV
  • Sunday, March 26
    • Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets, 3:30pm on ABC
    • Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers, 9:30pm on NBATV
  • Monday, March 27
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at San Antonio Spurs, 8pm on TNT
    • New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz, 10:30pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.

Sweet Sixteen Broadcast and Cable TV Schedule

The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is in the books, with many favorites and a few underdogs having made their way to the Sweet 16. From this point on, games will be airing on broadcast TV on CBS and cable TV on TBS. Here is the schedule for this weekend’s games, via NCAA.com:

Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) Thursday, March 23

Games (Sweet 16) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
(3) Oregon vs. (7) Michigan March 23 Kansas City 7:09 p.m. CBS
(1) Gonzaga vs. (4) West Virginia March 23 San Jose 7:39 p.m. TBS
(1) Kansas vs. (4) Purdue March 23 Kansas City 9:39 p.m. CBS
(2) Arizona vs. (11) Xavier March 23 San Jose 10:09 p.m. TBS

Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) Friday, March 24

Games (Sweet 16) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
(1) North Carolina vs. (4) Butler March 24 Memphis 7:09 p.m. CBS
(3) Baylor vs. (7) South Carolina March 24 New York 7:29 p.m. TBS
(2) Kentucky vs. (3) UCLA March 24 Memphis 9:30 p.m. CBS
(4) Florida vs. (8) Wisconsin March 24 New York 10:09 p.m. TBS

Regional Finals (Elite 8) Saturday, March 25

Games (Elite 8) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
TBA vs. TBA March 25 TBA 6:00 p.m. TBS
TBA vs. TBA March 25 TBA 8:30 p.m. TBS

Regional Finals (Elite 8) Sunday, March 26

Games (Elite 8) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
TBA vs. TBA March 26 TBA 2:00 p.m. CBS
TBA vs. TBA March 26 TBA 4:55 p.m. CBS

Enjoy the games.

HughesNet Launches Gen5 High Speed Internet

About 46% of total internet installations in people’s homes fall below download speeds of 25Mbps, leaving almost half of the homes in the United States with substandard internet services in comparison to the rest of the country. Many of these underserved homes fall in rural areas outside of the purview of major landline internet providers, where they have determined the cost to build the infrastructure necessary to bring fiber optic internet into homes is not worth what they would make in return.

Satellite internet company HughesNet is looking to even the playing field a little bit. In December, they launched their EchoStar XIX satellite, which is now safely in orbit with all systems go and ready to provide satellite internet plans featuring 25Mbps download speeds with their Gen5 service.

More from Forbes:

With this new expansion of their high-speed internet services, Hughes expects to be able to compete for a lot of people still using DSL, dial-up, and other older internet technologies.

“One are we think is a cause of great frustration is low-speed DSL,” said Hughes EVP Mike Cook. “It’s a copper-based technology that telcos are not investing in. We think for people who are on that, HughestNet Gen V is a tremendous upgrade in service capability.”

The expansion of the satellite network also allows Hughes to help shed data caps. Under its new service, Hughes customers will have “soft” data caps – once they hit their data limit, the service will downgrade their priority in terms of service (meaning things will slow down at certain times of day) rather than cutting off service completely. The latter is a source of some consternation to satellite internet customers. Customers will also get a free 50GB worth of data per month if that data’s used during off-peak hours.

The big perk of this is that DSL and satellite customer who previously weren’t able to use streaming services like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime will now have the opportunity. (Although Cook recommends sticking to standard def in order to avoid capping your data plan.) The plans are cost-competitive, too, with consumer plans starting at $49.99 per month and business plans at $69.99 per month.

While satellite internet does not offer all the benefits that some of the higher-level services in more urban and suburban areas offer, it is improving, and HughesNet is leading the way.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – March 14-20

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, March 14. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, March 14
    • Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7pm on NBATV
    • Philadelphia 76ers at Golden State Warriors, 10:30pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, March 15
    • Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs, 8pm on ESPN
    • Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, March 16
    • Utah Jazz at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7pm on NBATV
  • Friday, March 17
    • Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30pm on NBATV
  • Saturday, March 18
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Clippers, 8:30pm on ABC
  • Sunday, March 19
    • Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors, 6pm on NBATV
  • Monday, March 20
    • Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8pm on TNT
    • New York Knicks at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – March 7-13

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, March 7. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, March 7
    • Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, March 8
    • Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers, 8pm on ESPN
    • Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, March 9
    • San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8pm on TNT
    • Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns, 10:30pm on TNT
  • Friday, March 10
    • Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8pm on ESPN
    • Washington Wizards at Sacramento Kings, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Saturday, March 11
    • Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30pm on ABC
  • Sunday, March 12
    • Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics, 3:30pm on ABC
    • Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers, 6pm on NBATV
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets, 9pm on ESPN
  • Monday, March 13
    • Atlanta Hawks at San Antonio Spurs, 8pm on TNT
    • Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets, 10:30pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.

DIRECTV Lowers MLB Extra Innings Price

In contrast with what they have done with NFL SUNDAY TICKET, DIRECTV is lowering the price of the MLB Extra Innings package this year once again. Last year the price dropped by 12.5%, and for the 2017 season the price will be $172.74 compared to last year’s $173.94, which isn’t much of a drop, but when the trends of cable TV and satellite TV prices continually going up, it is a good deal for baseball fans living outside of their favorite teams’ home television markets.

More from Awful Announcing:

In addition, DirecTV will include a free subscription to MLB.TV to those who buy Extra Innings so fans not only can watch out-of-market games on TV, but they can watch on computers, mobiles, tablets and connected TV’s. This is the third straight year that DirecTV is including MLB.TV with Extra Innings.

The price in essence remaining flat as last year is a good thing considering how DirecTV is planning to increase its NFL Sunday Ticket package by over 9% before the 2017 season and by another 2% after the season starts.

Still, subscribers not seeing a dramatic increase this year for the baseball package is a good thing, but they know that there is the potential for the other shoe to drop next season. For now, baseball fans who want to purchase MLB Extra Innings package on DirecTV get a price break, albeit small, for 2017.

MLB Extra Innings, unavailable on DISH Network, allows viewers to watch up to 60 out of market baseball games each week of the regular season, usually with a choice between home and away broadcast teams.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – February 28-March 6

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, February 28. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, February 28
    • Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards, 7pm on NBATV
    • Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, March 1
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics, 8pm on ESPN
    • Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, March 2
    • Golden State Warriors at Chicago Bulls, 8pm on TNT
    • Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30pm on TNT
  • Friday, March 3
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks, 7pm on ESPN
    • San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans, 9:30pm on ESPN
  • Saturday, March 4
    • Los Angeles Clippers at Chicago Bulls, 8:30pm on ABC
  • Sunday, March 5
    • Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks, 3:30pm on ABC
    • Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings, 6pm on NBATV
    • Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks, 8:30pm on ESPN
  • Monday, March 6
    • Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Hornets, 8pm on TNT
    • Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.

Turner Sports Wins Champions League Cable TV Rights

The Champions League is the cream of the crop of European football (soccer), with the top teams from each country’s top league competing to see who the best team in Europe is. Turner Sports has won the English-language cable TV rights for the Champions League from Fox, who was the previous rights holder for both English and Spanish language TV rights. Univision will hold the Spanish language TV rights.

More from Awful Announcing:

Turner will pay $60 million a year for three years, beginning in fall 2018 and stretching through spring 2021.

Turner was somewhat of a surprise bidder, given that it has not aired any soccer coverage since the 1990 World Cup. The network will have to build an entire soccer operation essentially from scratch and will likely be looking outside the company for the new faces of its soccer coverage.

According to SBD, Fox’s bid for these rights was nowhere near what Turner offered. Fox has held Champions League rights since 2009 and has focused much attention on soccer coverage, with rights to the World Cup and MLS.

NBC, which owns rights to the English Premier League, reportedly submitted only a “token bid” for the Champions League.

Turner is becoming a major player in sports television once again, and expanding its audience to the younger crowd drawn more to soccer than the traditional American sports audience. Turner also holds rights to the NBA, MLB Playoffs, and March Madness.

911 Funding Affected by Lack of Landlines

We’re approaching almost 50 percent of Americans having completely ditched the landline phone to only use a cell phone. The reasons for that are many: keeping the same number even when moving from state to state, no long distance charges, always having your phone on you, fewer telemarketing calls. But one unforeseen byproduct of people cutting the home phone cord is that 911 services are losing their funding.

More from the Washington Times:

With landlines rapidly disappearing across Kentucky and the country, the old way of paying for 911 communications services has withered, too. That has left cities and counties struggling to maintain old systems and forced them to scramble to pay for upgrades or buy new systems.

“This is sort of a consequence of the structural changes the telecommunications market has gone through over the past 20 years,” said Trey Forgety, director of governmental affairs for the National Emergency Number Association.

The problem is especially bad in Kentucky, where local governments can charge fees on landlines for 911 services but are not allowed to tax cellphones. Fees from cellphones cover about 20 percent of the total cost to operate 911 systems in Kentucky, yet they account for 80 percent of all calls to 911 dispatch centers, according to Joe Barrows, executive director of the Commercial Mobile Radio Service Board, which collects cellphone fees in Kentucky.

Many state governments are collecting tax on cell phones, but because local governments cannot, sometimes that money does not make its way back to the local 911 infrastructure. More on this story as it develops at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – February 21-27

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, February 21. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, February 21
    • NO GAMES – All-Star Break
  • Wednesday, February 22
    • NO GAMES – All-Star Break
  • Thursday, February 23
    • New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers, 8pm on TNT
    • Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors, 10:30pm on TNT
  • Friday, February 24
    • Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors, 8pm on ESPN
    • San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Saturday, February 25
    • Charlotte Hornets at Sacramento Kings, 5pm on NBATV
    • Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers, 8:30pm on ABC
  • Sunday, February 26
    • Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks, 3:30pm on NBATV
    • New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder, 7pm on NBATV
    • Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Clippers, 9:30pm on NBATV
  • Monday, February 27
    • Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7pm on TNT
    • Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets, 9:30pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.