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So I emailed WGN out of spite during the Blues game...

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12-06-2011, 10:03 AM
  #1
MadhouseOnMadison
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So I emailed WGN out of spite during the Blues game...

During the Blues game I got fed up enough to shoot a quick email to WGN and basically tell them what I think of their broadcasts.

I sent this...

Quote:
To whom it may concern,

Please, PLEASE do not renew whatever contract you have with the Chicago Blackhawks organization in regards to broadcasting their games. Pretty much every time a game is televised on your network it's a technical mess and it completely ruins the viewing experience. Please leave it to the professionals. NBC, Versus, and CSN don't seem to have these problems every night. I don't know why your network does.

Thank you.
Never expected to get a response but I did, from a dude named Marc.

Quote:
Greetings MadhouseOnMadison,

I work in the Engineering Department at WGN TV. Your recent e-mail was forwarded to me for review and a reply.

MadhouseOnMadison, the problems we experienced with video and audio from Los Angeles two Saturdays ago, and from St. Louis this past Saturday, occurred either in the broadcast truck used to originate our game coverage, or between that truck and the intercity fiber transport service that brings the game across country for us to Chicago. In both cases some electronics used to convert the TV signal to light so it can feed the fiber optic connection overheated and became intermittent causing the audio and video problems two weeks ago and the audio problem this past Saturday night. Unfortunately the transport service did not have alternate facilities available or a technician on site to trouble shoot two weeks ago. We were, therefore, forced to use the intermittent signal until the end of the game. Last Saturday the truck technicians were able to isolate the problem and then switch the audio feed to alternate equipment to resolve the problem.

Know that we have been in constant contact with the broadcast truck vendor and the transport service. They have subjected their fiber equipment to lengthy testing in an effort to ensure there is not a similar failure. Also know that these technical problems are of great concern we pride ourselves on providing a perfect viewing experience to our audience. Unfortunately during both of these games, the problems were beyond our reach and control.

Thanks for watching WGN TV !!

Marc Drazin
WGN TV
Chicago
That's great and all Marc, but these problems have persisted ever since WGN picked the Hawks back up. They can do all the lengthy testing they want but the fact of the matter is that their broadcasts are still the worst and plagued by technical difficulties every night.

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12-06-2011, 10:06 AM
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xX Hot Fuss
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WGN blows but the more channels the Hawks are on the better IMO. I'm tired of this team being 5th fiddle in Chicago even though they're the most recent Champions. The more exposure the better

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12-06-2011, 10:12 AM
  #3
No Fun Shogun
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Nice to see that WGN at least cares about customer service enough to respond to your email, but still.... how many times do they need to screw this up before they fix the problem? As you said, the other channels don't seem to have this problem, and hell.... WGN doesn't have these problems with baseball games, so what's the deal with their subpar hockey broadcasts?

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12-06-2011, 10:17 AM
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From subpar boring intermissions to horrible camera work/technical issues, WGN is a third rate hockey provider.

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12-06-2011, 10:23 AM
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coldsteelonice84
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WGN has been brutal this year. I used to blame comcast and prefer the WGN games but later found out it was comcast itself, not CSN Chicago, so I dropped them. This year having AT&T in my house, CSN has been pretty close to 100% while WGN has been brutal. They need to get some better fiber optic cables or at least bring in the radio broadcast during sound failures. They own that station too.

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12-06-2011, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisgruntledHawkFan View Post
From subpar boring intermissions to horrible camera work/technical issues, WGN is a third rate hockey provider.
How about no pre or post game show? We go from Gilmore Girls right to the game . Its not like its only been one time they screwed up a broadcast but almost every game. I think their cameramen are too busy doing lines the way they handle those camera's at time. Cause their everywhere but where the play is happening.You would think WGN is run by interns based on their broadcast quality. Dont even get me going about cutting to commercial break when a fight breaks out.

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12-06-2011, 10:56 AM
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Nothing gets me in the mood to watch Hockey better than a riveting episode of Gilmore Girls

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12-06-2011, 11:28 AM
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Illinihockey
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At leats you get WGN, not only do I not get the games on WGN but they are blacked out down here as well. WGN said its a NHL policy and NHL won't respond to my emails.

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12-06-2011, 12:14 PM
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zytz
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Did you guys miss the part about the problem being out of their control? It's not as though you can just pop into the local radioshack for a signal converter

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12-06-2011, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zytz View Post
Did you guys miss the part about the problem being out of their control? It's not as though you can just pop into the local radioshack for a signal converter
They are responsible for the broadcast so how is it out of their control? We all figured there was some technical issue but why are they isolated to WGN?

It is their issue. The production is lacking, choice of camera angles is awful and now they have technical issues. I hope they refunded any advertisers for the 3rd period of that game.

VS/NBC does the best job by far but that is to be expected.

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12-06-2011, 01:07 PM
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Blue Liner
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It's not even just the hockey broadcasts. Anyone watch the news broadcasts? There are flubs constantly. Anchors regularly botch their lines and screw up what they're reading, the wrong graphic will be up on the screen for the wrong story, the wrong footage will be on for the wrong story, going-to-commercial music coming on too soon; all happen on a regular basis.

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12-06-2011, 01:18 PM
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zytz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawksFan74 View Post
They are responsible for the broadcast so how is it out of their control? We all figured there was some technical issue but why are they isolated to WGN?

It is their issue. The production is lacking, choice of camera angles is awful and now they have technical issues. I hope they refunded any advertisers for the 3rd period of that game.

VS/NBC does the best job by far but that is to be expected.
Production stuff can all be laid on WGN- but if there's a problem with the connection to the local fiber network that is beyond their control- they're at the mercy of the local vendors tech service at that point. I imagine it doesn't happen to CSN/NBC/VS bc they probably own their own fiber.

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12-06-2011, 01:49 PM
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MadhouseOnMadison
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zytz View Post
Did you guys miss the part about the problem being out of their control? It's not as though you can just pop into the local radioshack for a signal converter
Well clearly it's out of their control. That's why it happens every single game. If it was in their control you'd think they could fix it. But no, they continue to show their incompetence to the Chicago area. That's why I asked them not to renew whatever contract they had with the Hawks, because they clearly lack the ability to put on a decent broadcast.

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12-06-2011, 02:25 PM
  #14
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I'd be more apt to consider their explanation appropriate if it hasn't happened ritually ever since they picked up the contract. Technical problems are on display for the CSN Chicago games maybe 2-3 times a year for a grand total of 30 minutes of game play (even when they do have choppy video feed, at least they ensure that an audio feed is still available with quality almost instantaneously). There are a similar number of yearly instances on the WGN feed, but they offer significantly less time of hockey viewing, so their percentage of the difficulties is much greater. Understanding that they are under the control of the local service vendors, maybe they should've made a wiser decision to only broadcast home Saturday games (or other specifically planned games) to avoid both these problems and further network embarrassment from a technical position.

When you take this into consideration along with their, at best, sub-standard game coverage from a production standpoint - included, but not limited to, the problems expressed prior (poor camera angle choice or just poor camerawork, unfortunate crowd panning during offensive/defensive zone face-offs, making the switch too late, poorly timed advertisements coming out of the commercial break, poor or lacking pre/post/intermission coverage), it makes the viewing experience nearly intolerable in comparison to the alternate broadcasting choices.

It's basically amateur hour. Perhaps there's a lack of dedication?

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12-06-2011, 02:44 PM
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Bubba88
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I always had problems with streams when the game is on WGN. Now I have Gamecenter and have the same problems like you with WGN.

They suck

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12-06-2011, 04:25 PM
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Problems with LOCAL VENDORS is a pizz poor excuse. LMAO. Pass the buck WGN. Yes all of our thermo nuclear warheads just went off because one of the vendors delivered defective equipment.

Give me a break. Anyone here who agrees with WGNs position have any experience in a manufacturing enviornment? Root cause, ok they've identified it. Big deal. Solve it...permanently.

Either hire a competent vendor or supply/use your own equiptment. Bottom line is viewers dont want to hear excuses and there is really no excuse for consecutive defective broadcast telecasts.

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12-06-2011, 05:38 PM
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...and here I thought it was just Tom Skilling running one of his new computer models that might have been causing the issue.

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12-06-2011, 08:01 PM
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zytz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiGuySez View Post
Problems with LOCAL VENDORS is a pizz poor excuse. LMAO. Pass the buck WGN. Yes all of our thermo nuclear warheads just went off because one of the vendors delivered defective equipment.

Give me a break. Anyone here who agrees with WGNs position have any experience in a manufacturing enviornment? Root cause, ok they've identified it. Big deal. Solve it...permanently.

Either hire a competent vendor or supply/use your own equiptment. Bottom line is viewers dont want to hear excuses and there is really no excuse for consecutive defective broadcast telecasts.
I don't think anyone agrees with it- obviously no one is defending s******y broadcasts... but I can certainly sympathize with dealing with a vendor that doesn't give a damn.

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12-06-2011, 08:07 PM
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Timinater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illinihockey View Post
At leats you get WGN, not only do I not get the games on WGN but they are blacked out down here as well. WGN said its a NHL policy and NHL won't respond to my emails.
I truly feel for my fellow Champaignian Hawks fans.

WGN plays reruns of a soap opera. If the game is on NHL network they black the game out cus they think its on WGN. This has been going on for years.

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12-06-2011, 08:25 PM
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HawksRule7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timinater View Post
I truly feel for my fellow Champaignian Hawks fans.

WGN plays reruns of a soap opera. If the game is on NHL network they black the game out cus they think its on WGN. This has been going on for years.
Ugh, the same thing happens here in West Central Illinois. Get the games on CSN no problem, but yeah if the game's on WGN they assume we're close enough and therefore black it out on NHL Network. Luckily FS Midwest is also considered local for me here so I was able to watch the Blues game on there (but man, Kelly and Pang have to be the worst booth duo in the league, trio if you count Federko).

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12-07-2011, 10:02 AM
  #21
coldsteelonice84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawksRule7 View Post
Ugh, the same thing happens here in West Central Illinois. Get the games on CSN no problem, but yeah if the game's on WGN they assume we're close enough and therefore black it out on NHL Network. Luckily FS Midwest is also considered local for me here so I was able to watch the Blues game on there (but man, Kelly and Pang have to be the worst booth duo in the league, trio if you count Federko).
Holy jumpin' am I glad he's not a national anouncer anymore.

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12-07-2011, 11:13 AM
  #22
No Fun Shogun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawksRule7 View Post
Ugh, the same thing happens here in West Central Illinois. Get the games on CSN no problem, but yeah if the game's on WGN they assume we're close enough and therefore black it out on NHL Network. Luckily FS Midwest is also considered local for me here so I was able to watch the Blues game on there (but man, Kelly and Pang have to be the worst booth duo in the league, trio if you count Federko).
Yeah, that is one of the other bs things about WGN.... Hawks are on WGN Chicago, not WGN America, so whenever I'm down in Champaign during a WGN broadcast I'm forced to watch a stream online because it's just not available (unless we bought a high end tier package for a specialty channel, and lol that).

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12-07-2011, 11:15 AM
  #23
coldsteelonice84
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I wish things were like the old days when you could pick up a cheater box for a couple hundred bucks and get every channel.

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