DirecTV called LAist on the phone and left us a message. The recorded voice said that DirecTV had worked out a deal with WNBC in NY that allowed certain zipcodes in LA the ability to get the east coast channel for just $6 a month.
The benefit would be that we in LA would be able to get late night shows like Saturday Night Live and Conan O'Brien at 9:30pm instead of at 12:30am.
Because LAist is a little obsessive about television and we have pretty much every channel that the satellite provider delivers, we immediately called back last week when we heard the offer. Unfortunately no one at the 1800-DIRECTV knew what the fark we were talking about. They promised to call back the next day, but never did.
So we called back yesterday, the lady had no clue what we were referring to, rambled on about how there was a federal law against people getting local channels that weren't in their local markets (or nearby), and then tried to transfer us to a higher level of support, but sent us to New Customers. We were then transfered back down to the first level of customer service who then sent us to CIS(!) who saw the offer on the screen but couldn't figure out how to hook us up. 15 minutes later she had figured it out and we were watching Last Comic Standing three hours before we were supposed to.
So we identified ourselves as LAist and we asked if it was okay for us to share this special with our friends in LA who might also subscribe to DirecTV and wouldn't mind paying a little extra to get Conan at a reasonable hour on channel 382.
The woman said that it was fine to talk about it. She said that people should ask for the "NBC in NY only in LA" promotion. If your customer service rep seems to have no idea what you're talking about, ask to be transfered to CIS, or ask to be transfered to a supervisor.
The price of $5.99 a month does seem a little steep when compared to other premium packages where one can get 7 HBO channels or 9 Showtime channels for $12, but if you like Conan or local NY news, six bucks is a pittance. One less splurge at the valet a month.
There seems to be zero information about this special on the DirecTV site - maybe this does break some federal laws (whoops) - but the TiVo message board seemed to have a few members who experienced what we did when trying to sign up for the offer. So, who knows, maybe this is another in a long line of LAist scoops.
Whatevs. All we know is it's 2:25pm and we have Live at Five bustin on the second tuner with My Name is Earl ready to start recording at 5pm. Life is grand.Lets hope this is the first step in the inevitable of all channels available for all Americans... at a price.