As expected, SportsTime Ohio has announced the final major piece to its TV puzzle, with the addition of DirecTV to its affiliate roster. STO will show up, also as expected and as hinted here since last Friday, on DirecTV channel 657. The release says DirecTV will be on board for tomorrow's STO regular season opener with the Chicago White Sox.
But for some DirecTV viewers outside the immediate area (and outside the Columbus region), there's a hitch. The release linked above says the channel will be available in "greater Cleveland and (the) surrounding area", and makes references to just which DirecTV ZIP codes that will get SportsTime Ohio.
We have copied that ZIP code list from SportsTime Ohio's pull-down menu, and have reproduced it below. It would appear to include the Cleveland/Akron/Canton area, as well as ZIP codes in and near Columbus. But for whatever reason, it does not appear to include the 444xx ZIP codes, which cover the Warren area, and the 449xx ZIP codes for the Mansfield area.
We see no reason why Warren would be out of the loop if Youngstown is slated to get STO (445xx). For one, Warren is closer to Cleveland than Youngstown, and is in the same TV market. And why would folks in the Columbus area have no problem getting STO on DirecTV, but people in Warren can't?
And though the Mansfield area ZIP codes are also missing from the list, folks in nearby Ashland (448xx) are on the list. It doesn't make any sense to us what either DirecTV or STO gain (presumably financially) by flipping out Warren and Mansfield, but keeping Columbus and Youngstown.
For whatever reason, it appears some folks outside of greater Cleveland who have DirecTV and would expect to get SportsTime Ohio, will not be getting it. WTAM's report on the deal says it covers the "inner" part of the Cleveland TV market. (Our ears are thankful that our now-infamous Indians fan relative is in the immediate area, and is well within the STO-supplied ZIP code list.)
With 17 major cable systems and both satellite providers along for the ride with STO...the network now has to play "cleanup", working to sign the smaller local providers that are not hooked up with the big companies. The network also has to figure out the problem outlined above. The release provides a number for fans outside "the greater Cleveland and surrounding area" to call DirecTV, so perhaps they're hoping for a nudge from folks in the areas listed above.
Now, here's that list...
The following Zip Code areas can watch on channel 657: 43000-43099, 43100-43199, 43200-43299, 43300-43399, 43407-43408, 43410-43410, 43412-43412, 43416-43416, 43420-43420, 43430-43433, 43435-43456, 43438-43440, 43442-43442, 43445-43446, 43449-43449, 43452-43452, 43456-43456, 43458-43458, 43464-43464, 43468-43469, 43701-43702, 43711-43711, 43717-43717, 43720-43725, 43727-43727, 43730-43736, 43738-43740, 43746-43746, 43748-43750, 43755-43755, 43760-43762, 43764-43764, 43766-43768, 43771-43773, 43777-43780, 43782-43783, 43788-43788, 43791-43791, 43800-43899, 44000-44099, 44100-44199, 44200-44299, 44300-44399, 44500-44599, 44600-44699, 44700-44799, 44800-44899