FSN: Home of the Epic Fail

FSN. Like an itch on your balls that you just can’t scratch because you’re talking face-to-face with a girl who is clearly better looking than you and you do not want to ruin this, they pretty much annoy the hell out of you.

On the plus side, they provide a service that many of us can’t live without: sports, live, on television, for our enjoyment.

On the other hand, they suck at providing that service. And so we have a catch-22.

Last week, we fanned the flames of war by first posting a critique of the embattled sports network, followed shortly thereafter by a mock interview with an FSN employee.

Surprisingly, we managed to score a reaction from FSN with the airing of our dirty laundry. They sent one of their plebes to handle us through email, and wouldn’t you know it, they screwed that up, too.

After scheduling a phone call for Friday morning, I left a message with Fox Sports Northwest’s Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, Jill C. Wiggins, and waited. And continued waiting. And never received a call back. Nor an email. Nor anything.

Now from what I hear, this is common practice from FSN. They contact you asking you to contact them, only to stand you up like Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail. That’s just inconsiderate.

Rather than attempt to explain everything else, here is a transcript of the emails sent between myself and Ms. Wiggins from last Thursday:

From: Jill C. Wiggins

To: Seattle Sportsnet

Subject: Greetings from FSN

Hello… my name is Jill and I’m with FSN. I am hoping this message will be passed along to Alex so we might be able to have a quick conversation.

Obviously I’ve seen the most recent posts about FSN and while I don’t have any intention of trying to convince you to change your opinion about the network, there are some elements of our business I’d like to share so that you have a better understanding of some if the situations you mention. I can be reached at the number below or, if you’d like to send me your number so that I can contact you, that would be great. I appreciate you taking the time. Thanks, Jill.

Jill Wiggins I Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications

jcwiggins@directv.com

o: 425.649.6960 I f: 425.562.3341

3626 156th Ave. SE I Bellevue, WA 98006

***

From: Seattle Sportsnet

To: Jill C. Wiggins

Subject: Re: Greetings from FSN

Ms. Wiggins,

I appreciate you taking the time to contact me, but I would like to run a few things by you before we talk directly.

First of all, I want to make it very clear that the stance Seattle Sportsnet has taken on FSN applies to the entire Fox Sports Net network of television stations, and not simply Fox Sports Northwest. While Fox Sports Northwest falls under the FSN umbrella, and is a target of our printed opinions, it is not the sole focus of our, for lack of a better word, attack.

Second, I think you should be aware that while the articles themselves were written by me, they represent a view that is held by many of my constituents, viewers and sports fans in the 20-40 age range who feel that FSN has, in some way or another, shortchanged their sports viewing experience. My website is for fans, by fans, and while at times slightly outlandish, the comments made about FSN are not far off from the opinions held by many viewers in the local area, as well as outside the local area. When asked what some of those viewers would like to tell FSN, if given the opportunity, many respondents addressed the following points:

-The inferior quality and infrequency of HD programming.

-The frequent mispronunciation by broadcasters of players’ and coaches’ names, the most recent and glaring being the Quincy “Poin-dexter” mishap from over the weekend.

-The inferior quality and quantity of information passed along to viewers by studio analysts, play-by-play callers, and color commentators.

-The credentials of on-air personalities given job opportunities at FSN, with three specific local examples being Jason Gesser, Mack Strong, and Tom Newell.

-The inability of regional broadcasters to remain unbiased and impartial in their analysis of games, with one blatant example being the FSN West color commentator from the Arizona-Washington men’s basketball game last weekend. This is perhaps the most egregious violation of journalistic integrity that FSN is responsible for, and arguably the one thing that angers viewers most of all.

Look, the fact of the matter is fans feel let down by FSN, and that’s as simply as I can put it. I don’t expect you to address all of these problems. I don’t expect you to apologize for these issues, or attempt to alter my view on them. But as fans, myself included, we also don’t want the company spiel on how FSN is attempting to change, how FSN is attempting to get better, and how FSN will attempt to live up to our expectations. We want results. We want to see it, not hear about it. And if that’s what you intend to tell me, then a phone conversation would be a waste of your time and mine.

Again, I appreciate you contacting me and responding to these issues which I have raised. If I’m completely off base with what I have stated in this email, please let me know and we can talk further. Thank you.

***

From: Jill C. Wiggins

To: Seattle Sportsnet

Subject: Re: Re: Greetings from FSN

Wow. I hope that’s not too “corporate” of a response, but it’s what first came to mind. I just wanted to have a conversation with you and, like I said in my initial email, didn’t hope or expect to change your mind about the network. The gist of what I would like to talk about – and still am very interested in doing so – is to better explain how FSN as a regional sports network operates much differently than entities you seem to want to liken us to. I have worked long enough in the business to understand that criticism comes with the territory, so that’s not an issue… and I’m not sure how having a conversation could ever be a waste of time… so if you can make some time tomorrow I would still love to be able to speak with you versus read a dissertation over email or on your blog.

***

From: Seattle Sportsnet

To: Jill C. Wiggins

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Greetings from FSN

Just wanted to tread the waters and see where you are coming from on this aspect. I will make time to call you tomorrow. Is there a time during the day that works best for you?

***

From: Jill C. Wiggins

To: Seattle Sportsnet

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Greetings from FSN

My afternoon is kind of a nightmare so morning would be better for me… late morning preferably so I can get enough caffeine in my system… would that work for you?

***

From: Seattle Sportsnet

To: Jill C. Wiggins

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Greetings from FSN

That should work just fine for me. I’ll give you a call sometime in the late morning. Looking forward to speaking with you.

***

So I called around 11:30 AM, left a wonderful message that included my phone number and name, just in case she forgot, then never got a call back. Yep, it’s kinda like that.

18 responses

  1. I am looking forward to hearing the explanation as to why FSN simply must suck when compared to ESPN in terms of coverage and professionalism.

  2. WOW She got a little defensive…

  3. The quotation marks around “corporate” really set the tone.

  4. “The gist of what I would like to talk about – and still am very interested in doing so – is to better explain how FSN as a regional sports network operates much differently than entities you seem to want to liken us to.”

    I don’t think she needs to explain how FSN operates differently than ESPN. Anyone can tell her that. FSN sucks. ESPN doesn’t. Who cares if they operate differently? That doesn’t make them a good network by any means. I’m excited to see where this goes from here.

  5. Well, in the spirit of Dawg Pack Dirt, everyone now has Ms. Wiggins’ contact information. Do with it as you please.

  6. The worst issue is BY FARRRR that FSN HD looks like I’m watching tv in the 1970′s. FSN Non-HD….wow, good luck seeing anything. Then to go along with it, they make you listen to announcers who clearly don’t know too much about whatever sport they are covering. It makes Seattle and UW sports look unprofessional in my opinion. Especially for the recruits the UW is going after in football and basketball– it just sheds a bad light on the whole package. Seattle would be smart to try to improve on this!

  7. I would have to say the unbiased, moronic commentators are my beef. The only guy I enjoy listening to is Marques Johnson. I feel like it’s Christmas when we get him.

  8. I am embarrassed to be a Seattle sports fan becasue of this… think of all the people who travel here and decide to watch a sporting event on FSN. No wonder Seattle gets clowned nationally in the sports world.

  9. So it is now Wednesday night and has she called you yet? This whole exchange turned tragically unprofessional after you made a very clear statement of your displeasure for their station.

    A perfect example of how to make a bad situation worse.

  10. Mark, did you read the linked articles? She was already well aware of the displeasure I had towards the station and still went out of her way to contact me.

    Mark, siding with FSN is like trying to justify Clay Bennett’s hijacking of the Sonics. Just don’t do it.

  11. Alex,

    You’re a total hack. Fans like you, stuck with their heads in the ground are what give Seattle sports a bad name. People like you are the biggest bandwagon jumpers in world. Posts like this make you sound like some loser stuck in your momma’s basement wishing to be sports broadcaster. Ever see the movie “Big Fan” with Patton Oswalt? If you not, check it out…you probably are a lot like him. You sound like someone jealous about the fact that they can’t get a job in Seattle sports so you are stuck scratching you balls like you mentioned.

    One thing I do like is how you beg for money on your website during a time when most hard working people are struggling to make ends meet?? Nice touch buddy!!

    Oh well…keep on being a loser, that might keep me interested enough in coming back again. And by the way…have fun going on with another loser in Ian, who may only have two or three more listeners than you do readers. I’m sure all the Coug fans out there really care about whether Q-Pon’s name was pronounced correctly or not. A real talk show host with any credibility wouldn’t give you or your blog two seconds. So what does that say about you?? Can’t wait to see where you are at in 6 months!!

  12. Well said Ballard Dawg. The irony of Alex’s FSN post is this…

    What FSN is to ESPN…Seattle Sportsnet is to Deadspin. An weak imitation of something better.

    Alex you are such a poser. Keep begging for change buddy!!

  13. Joe, Ballard Dawg, it’s clear that you are the same person, I’m able to check that sort of thing. And while I don’t agree with your comments, I appreciate you checking out the site and reading the work. Undoubtedly, your patronage will allow our numbers to go up and keep the advertisers coming back.

  14. Can you say paranoid? And by the way…what advertisers?? I don’t see any advertisers on your site? If there were…you wouldn’t be begging for money. Nice try

  15. Joe, you’re an idiot. I didn’t raise you to pick on people behind the shield of the internet like this. Plus, you live in Ballard, how stupid is that? I told you like six or seven times to find a new place to live and you won’t do it. You forget about me on my birthday, you put me into this home the week before Christmas, and now you’re just making a fool out of yourself. I should never have sent you to private school. You get a good education, and this is how you repay me? I’m disappointed in you, Joe.

  16. Ballard Dawg/Joe/Whoever you are…

    The only thing more pathetic than “some loser stuck in his momma’s basement wishing to be sports broadcaster” is someone who writes a 3 paragraphs criticizing that loser because runs a non-profit, sarcastic, fan-biased blog.

    Stay classy Ballard.

  17. Back to the matter at hand, most Northwest sports fans agree that FSN is lacking.

  18. What’s that game called

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