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No VERSUS? Here are Some Suggestions

by Seamus O'Callahan / Dallas Stars

We’ve heard from a lot of fans out there who are a little miffed that most of the Stars games in the Western Conference Finals are only available via television on VERSUS.

Some people do not have cable or satellite service in their homes.

Some have cable but their provider does not offer VERSUS.

Seamus O'Callahan
Some have the option to upgrade their cable package to get VERSUS but it costs more money than they wish to spend.

All valid reasons to be upset. You want your Stars hockey, especially at the most important time of the year.

Believe me when I tell you that the Stars would love to make the game available in every household possible. The fact is that VERSUS has exclusive rights to televise these games through their contract with the National Hockey League. The Stars are not allowed to televise the games in these late rounds.

“But Seamus, that’s all fine and good, but it doesn’t fix my problem,” you say. “I still cannot get the Stars games and I am upset about that. I’d like to watch them.”

I understand. That was just the explanation on how we got here.

So what is a Stars fan to do? (those of you without VERSUS).

Let’s put this in terms every fan would understand: What would Brenden Morrow do?

The Stars captain is leading the way for his team and his attitude is an inspiration to all of us. I’ll tell you what he would do – he’d get out there and find a way to watch the game. He would simply do what it takes to see the game. And there are many options.

The easiest option is the FREE Official Watching Parties that the Stars are holding at AT&T Plaza outside the south end of American Airlines Center (sponsored by VERSUS). Every game (home and road) will be shown in beautiful HD in the Plaza, utilizing nine huge boards that is sure to be the best place to watch the game. Think about it – tons of Stars fans cheering their team on, food and drink available for purchase, and the entire game in HD before your eyes. The Stars will also be giving away prizes and other fun stuff there. Bring your own lawn chairs because there is limited seating available and that way you are ensured to have a place to sit. Again, it’s FREE.

A few other bits of information for you: parking is free for most of these parties, but Game Two on Saturday night is at the same time as a Desperados game, so unfortunately there is no free parking at the arena for that one. Coolers are not allowed to be brought onto the plaza, unfortunately.

FSN is planning of doing live post-game shows from the AT&T Plaza and the Watching Parties for every game. So if you are at home, switch over to FSN at the game’s conclusion where FSN will bring you locker room interviews and extended coverage.

Bottom line: it promises to be a fun time at a FREE price down at the Watching Parties. Go check them out.

Next option that Mr. Morrow would utilize (if he could not get to the Watching Parties) include getting some friends together for a private watching party. Go out as a group to a bar or restaurant that has VERSUS (and a lot of them do since DirecTV is a staple for sports bars). Call around and see which bars have it available.

Or ask your friends at the office or in the neighborhood – “Who has VERSUS in their home?” When you find one, see if they would be willing to have some people over to watch the game.

Maybe you’re unsure if you have VERSUS in your cable or satellite service. Have you checked? Go to the VERSUS channel finder and punch in your zip code. It will tell you what channel you can find VERSUS on in your area on the available networks.

Here are the channels for many of the areas in the Metroplex:

AT&T Home Entertainment U-Verse - Dallas - Digital Channel 640 HDChannel 1640
Time Warner Cable - Channel 31
Time Warner Cable - Digital  Channel 31 Channel 190 HDChannel 786
Verizon Fios Digital  Channel75
DIRECTV Channel 603 HDChannel 604
DISH Channel 151 HDChannel 9468
Charter Communications - Fort Worth - Digital Channel 254
Charter Communications Univ.Park/Dallas - Dallas - Digital  Channel 254

A few people have even asked me a recommendation on a service to switch to in their home to get VERSUS. There are several options out there but if you ask me you cannot go wrong with DirecTV. I’ve had it in my home for over eight years and I love it. You get VERSUS as part of their basic package and do not have to pay extra for it. Just a thought for those of you considering getting satellite service (which is very reasonable, I might add).

There is no doubt that these games are important and everyone wants to watch. But the league contract is what it is and VERSUS is the exclusive home for most of the games in this round (they do a very good job, by the way). If you don’t have VERSUS, we hope you will find a way to watch the games.

Again, the Stars feel your frustration. We wish that we had a magic wand to make VERSUS and these games in the Western Conference Finals available in every home. We’re looking forward to hosting the Official Watching Parties and we would love to see you there.

Go Stars!
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