The huge college basketball game today featuring the #16 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers and the #2 Kansas Jayhawks will be shown exclusively on the relatively new streaming service ESPN+. While the service itself is not a problem, it creates a dilemma for residents of our state.
West Virginia is far behind other states when it comes to technology and many of its residents are not particularly tech-savvy. Subscribing to and figuring out how to log in to ESPN Plus is not a particularly easy task, as I recently discovered when trying to explain the process to my father.
It would be wonderful if learning to use this service wouldn’t require a Doctorate Degree in Information Technology. The problem West Virginians have with only being able to watch West Virginia play on this platform is multi-faceted.
To begin, the idea of paying $4.99 to see the Mountaineers is not the problem. Like most West Virginians, I would pay any reasonable amount to watch the game. While no one wants to pay extra, it’s not an exorbitant amount to watch a game live and in High Definition.
Rather, the real issue lies with the state of West Virginia’s very poor high speed internet. Frontier Communications, the largest internet provider in the state, is unreliable on its best days and woefully, painfully awful on its worst days. The idea of constant buffering, delays and outages does not make for a great gameday experience. Most of the state will suffer through these conditions and this fanbase absolutely deserves better.
The whole state of West Virginia, all of its people, love the Mountaineers and should be able to watch the game. This includes young people with outstanding WIFi capable of figuring out how to use ESPN Plus and those with terrible internet access unable to figure out how to download and watch the game on ESPN Plus.
Like the West Virginia versus Kansas football game this past season, many, many fans are not going to be able to view the game, or they will have to view it through choppy buffering. West Virginia fans are some of the very best in the country and deserve better than this.