Thousands of channels and nothing on

So much junk. So much failed ambition. It seems like even the cable channels that are set up with high purpose (hello, History/Discovery/Learning channels) immediately succumb to the lure of the lowest common denominator and turn into dreck, so where is The Sportsman Channel to go?

Wait, you say, the Sportsman Channel doesn’t sound that awful; sure, it’s not educational, maybe, but it could be about honest entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with that. To which I reply, “SyFy channel.”

But what could a channel about hunting and fishing do to degrade their starting premise? Behold. Now you know, you can always dig through the floor of the basement.

And there’s more!

Other shows on Sarah Palin’s new network sound like porn shows: Hardcore Pursuit, Kings Of Gettin’Em, Mathews Dominant Bucks, YoungWild

The Sportsman’s Channel is getting a buzz, but I’m wondering how many people would actually plunk down money to get it delivered to their TV? Too many probably, which is why I’m going to mention that if I were in charge of the New World Order, I’d get those subscription lists and make sure those people were also on my list for privileged positions on the “B” Ark.


  1. A Masked Avenger says

    The Sportsman’s Channel is getting a buzz, but I’m wondering how many people would actually plunk down money to get it delivered to their TV? Too many probably…

    Don’t forget, you can’t subscribe to “channels.” You can only subscribe to “packages.” If you subscribe to the “digital preferred” package from my provider in order to get Major League Baseball, say, then you get the Sportsman’s Channel whether you want it or not.

  2. says

    Faux Noize can’t hold the attention of the ignorami any more, so…. HUNTIN’! FISHIN’! BOOBS IN DAISY DUKES! Plus enough just enough hard-core right wing commentary to brainwash the masses.

  3. says

    Masked Avenger beat me to it – It’ll get tacked on with a some cable package (maybe a sports package). I despise the fact we can’t purchase channels a la carte. Of course, 90% of crappy channels out there would be canceled, as no one wants to pay for them, which in turn would reduce the ad revenue.

    Never going to happen.

  4. Holms says

    The fact that the channel caters to the sport hunters already meant it was guaranteed to be incredibly conservative-leaning. This channel had no chance of being watchable from the outset.

  5. jagwired says

    That really sounds like Rage Against the Machine playing in the background. I hope I’m wrong.

  6. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    It sounds like Rage Against the Machine style but I don’t think it’s actually one of their songs. Here is a version with more appropriate music…

  7. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    It’s just an animal-murder porn channel. Think of all the wonderful ways in which one device can decapitate a turkey from 20 yards, or another intricate slug’s casing is so evenly loaded it magically finds the heart of a 12-point whitetail every time. Besides, it’s not like conservatives actually care about nature. They just care about how we can exploit it to the maximum without disrupting their favorite past-times of driving noisy fast vehicles through pristine terrain or collapsing an ecosystem to the point of extinction for multiple species- animals which are unsporting, not tasty, or of no use to commercialized exploitation, that is – or putting those species in the position of being so in order to capitalize on our lust for consumerism and our fear of ‘furrin’ oil (who are all terrorists, don’cha know.)

    Yeah, fuck that channel and every other channel like it. If they just broadcasted an abattoir’s slaughtering floor it would be a marked improvement and I would have no objections to that. At least it’s honest in not pretending to give a fuck about the animals they destroy and the environment they’ve help leave wrecked.

  8. Alverant says

    Times like this I become more sure about my future decision to abandon cable and stick with internet when my current customer deal with comcast runs out. Right now I get cable, phone, and internet through them and I think I can save money by just doing the latter two. I got a Google Chromecast that lets me watch YouTube on my TV and I can get new episodes of the TV shows I do watch through … other means. The only thing I’ll miss are Law & Order marathons on the weekends.

  9. says

    We cut the cable almost eight years ago, and don’t miss it one bit. Netflix and fulfill all our entertainment needs. The only thing we miss is local channels for news, and I can fix that when I get around to it (there’s a wireless technology which involves putting this thing called an “antenna” on the roof. No, really).

  10. stevem says

    Oh, to be the smuggest elitist; just don’t watch it it! No one is forcing you to watch it! All the other crap on TV (i.e. Ancient Aliens, WWE, Faux News, Sharknado, etc. etc.) I just avoid like like the plague. Rather than “cut the cable”, I just spend fewer hours watching the “slab” (not a “box” anymore). There are still a *few* things on the crapfest TV, and it is only those “gems” I turn on the TV for. Preaching to the choir / sorry for the rant, but crap like Palin’s new “show” just drives me bonkers, I just have to scream at *, to vent my rage. It seems the media obsession with zombies and boobs (both meanings…pun intended) just keeps going…

  11. says

    I’ve been streaming all my viewing entertainment lately. I’ll occasionally peek on the household cable and do searches if I think I can find a show I’m interested in, but it’s not often, and usually it’s just a few episodes at most. One side effect is that my free time has gotten much less structured since I can generally watch what I want when I want. I don’t have any idea what’s on or when it’s on, so even if there is something on cable I want to watch, it’s going to be hard to get me back into TV.

    For now, if I want to watch a Discovery channel show that’s actually about science, I can stream it without having to watch commercials for shows about crab fishing lumberjacks or whatever… I should probably look through Netflix’s documentary section, since I tend to fall victim to non-educational entertainment referring me to other non-educational entertainment.

  12. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I nominate Sarah Palin for the position of great distinction, Captain of B Ark.

  13. robro says

    stevem — I’m confused…who’s the “smuggest elitist”? Why not cut it? When I decided I didn’t want to pay to watch any of it, well then snip, snip, snip. And if that’s smug elitism, then so be it. I may not be a better person for it, but I’m certainly not worse.

  14. 24fps says

    @throwaway – Not sure exactly how it is in the US, but in Canada, hunters and recreational fishermen put more energy into preserving habitat than anyone up here. I’m not defending Palin and her ilk, but without organizations like Ducks Unlimited (membership is largely made up of hunters), wetlands on the Canadian prairie would be far less protected than they are.

    When it comes to actually doing something to protect the environment, I’ll take a hunter over a fluff-bunny eco-hipster any day.

  15. says

    @14: Yes, but why pay $50+/month for a feed of which only a small fraction interests you, instead of significantly less money on stuff you will like? “Cutting it” isn’t elitist, just rational.

  16. anteprepro says

    Not sure exactly how it is in the US, but in Canada, hunters and recreational fishermen put more energy into preserving habitat than anyone up here.

    God, I envy Canada. We do have hunters like that. But, as evidenced by the existence of this channel, in a lot of cases in the good ol’ U.S., hunting is just an extension of right-wing gun fetishism. And as a result, the hunters are people who don’t give a shit about the environment and just like the idea of being “self-sufficient” or powerful, and see it as Manly Ruggedness. They are just happy to have something living they can legally shoot at. Caring about the environment? That’s for commies who don’t believe that GAWD will sort everything out.

  17. ChasCPeterson says

    Ducks Unlimited is not (just) a Canadian organization.
    But duck hunters are not upland-bird hunters are not deer hunters are not elk hunters are not bear hunters. Lumping ‘hunters’ together as a group to laud or despise is a gross category error.

  18. anteprepro says

    But duck hunters are not upland-bird hunters are not deer hunters are not elk hunters are not bear hunters. Lumping ‘hunters’ together as a group to laud or despise is a gross category error.

    Sophisticated Hunterology

  19. unclefrogy says

    well it looks like Sara has finally gotten in the door of entertainment TV where she has always been wanting to be. Vanna White.
    I have watched TV on cable and on satellite and now over the air. I live in a big market southern cal. and there is no lack of what I am interested on the digital channels out here. I watch mostly public broadcasting channels and can easily get 11 feeds
    I only miss Mythbusters but I can spend hours on the web site easily.
    One other benefit of over the air out here is watching the Mhz network international mysteries series .
    as I said I live in driving distance of Hollywood and it is refreshing to see places that are actually different places around the world not just L.A. “dressed up” to look like Florida or Washington DC or London or almost any where else. You may not notice if you were not living here but I can’t help it it is often the plants in the background that give it away. The other thing I like about is the different perspective like the swat team shots the suspect in the leg instead of the center of the chest like “Hollywood” does it.
    also there are many news programs from around the world with different perspectives and different emphasis.
    end of “promotion”
    I am reminded of The Mad Magazine of my youth whenever I hear about how dumb TV has become.
    uncle frogy

  20. throwaway says


    When it comes to actually doing something to protect the environment, I’ll take a hunter over a fluff-bunny eco-hipster any day.

    I lumped conservatives (not hunters) into a category based on experience, proven stances on ecological matters, and their ideal of progress at any cost, due to the presence of a conservative figurehead for this channel. Palin is for pipelines, you know, “Drill, baby, drill!” That type of conservative.
    As for which is more effective, your mindful hunter versus a caricature of someone who wants nearly the same thing as the hunter but is supposedly ineffective … yeah, are we picking teams or something? I’ll take whoever I can get whether their passion is strong enough to act as an impetus or not, as long as they’re on the side of the argument I’m on.

  21. stevem says

    re robro @17:

    stevem — I’m confused…who’s the “smuggest elitist”?

    self-deprecating; I was calling myself a “smuggist elitist” for telling people to “… don’t watch it, don’t cut it…” I agree, yours is a very valid point, that if the cable has so little to watch, it makes no harm to just snip, snip, snip. That’s why I called myself an elitist for being so smug about my own approach to the garbage (99% is) on TV (in general. Cable, Satellite, Broadcast, et al)

  22. jimmyfromchicago says

    You live in rural Minnesota, and you have that visceral a hatred of hunting and fishing? How do you stand it, PZ?

  23. says

    You’ve already heard the harangue, but seriously:

    Cut the cord. You won’t miss it.

    … caveat: my knowledge of how much you might miss it is technically a little second hand. I’m not much of a TV watcher of late myself. The net generally eats those hours, when I have them..

    But I do have television watchers on the premises, and they assure me they’re doing better than fine w/, as Eamon reports, Zip and Netflix. (I mean, oh noes, no more Home Shopping Network? However will we cope.) And yes, I installed one of those antenna things in an attic, pointed it at a local tower, back during the summer Olympics, as someone had a yen to watch those a little more live, and listen, you really have to see what terrestrial TV signals look like these days. 720p and 1080i ATSC are very pretty things, on a decent flatscreen. This is not your father’s analog signal.

    Cheaper. Better. All of that. And as bonus, this way you aren’t funding, at least so directly*, the people who make dreck like that stuff at the top of this article… Nor getting their cooties all over your coax**.

    (*Indirectly, however, annoyingly, probably yes, as the odds are even if you buy your net through a third party (I also recommend and do this, yes), some major league telecom trying hard also to become a vertically integrated media empire will eventually provide the service, and they probably will, indeed, be so implicated. But ya does what ya can, I figure. Until the revolution, anyway.)

    (**/Technically, I don’t have coax either. Except, as mentioned, enroute from said antenna. DSL, now. Has so far proved vastly more reliable.)

  24. says

    24fps, I’m based in Montana, and can tell you that the U.S. has a very similar history with hunting. In the early 1900s, wildlife in Montana was nearly eradicated. It took the restoration and management efforts of conservation-minded hunters to bring the wildlife to how we have it today.

  25. Suido says

    I’m an Australian, and I’m pretty sure we don’t have the cable channel disease as badly as the US does, but I am struck by a key argument that the cable channel providers use.

    That by grouping so many channels and content into packages that must be purchased as a whole, they are able to support the industry as a whole and provide better production across the board, allowing more niche productions that might not survive on their own.

    That’s a union argument. An argument for collective bargaining, the kind of argument that is supposedly the antithesis of the free market. This argument is being spouted by the richest media moguls on the planet. Case in point: Rupert Murdoch, about as anti-labour and anti-unions as it gets.

    Fucking hypocrites.

  26. Suido says

    *antithesis of free market values as expressed by libertards and a certain cable news channel, the one owned by that guy…

  27. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    If I weren’t a sports fan, I’d cut cable in a heartbeat. The only non-sports-programming I watch anymore is Doctor Who and, honestly, I can wait for the DVDs. But I need my live hockey/baseball fix.

  28. methuseus says

    I rarely watch sports. Most of what I enjoy is hockey and soccer. Mainly soccer. In order to get that I’d have to pay close to $80 a month, added on to my Internet bill, just because of the packages I’d need to actually see games I’m interested in. I just watch a game here and there on lunch break at work (they have FiOS in the break room) and highlights on the Internet. I’d like to watch more, but even if I had those packages, many games are broadcast live at inconvenient times for me.