Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Big Ten Network and other stuff

This is my first post here so I might have to work out some kinks. Anyways, I emailed Gene Smith yesterday about the situation regarding the Big Ten Network and here is the response i got today. (apparently he passed the email off to Steve Snapp, but thats fine)

"Zach --

Gene Smith has asked me to respond to your email. You make some very
good points and you are absolutely correct, this is a very difficult
situation. But the Big Ten and the Big Ten Network are trying hard to
resolve it in order to make all of our games available to our fans. At
this point, it does not look as though we are going to have anything in
place for the first two games, but we are optimistic that down the road
we can come to an agreement. All of us hope that will be sooner rather
than later. I am not sure who you cable provider is, but it won't hurt
to give them a call and let them know you would like to have the Big Ten
Network on you cable package. In the meantime, though, your only option
is DirecTV. Keep in mind, though, that negotiations are going on daily
and things could change quickly.

Hope you fare well as a recent graduate.

Go Bucks,

Steve Snapp"
So there that is, pretty much what I expected. All it means is that for those of us without DirecTV we're not going to be watching the first couple of games unless we attend them in person. On a somewhat unrelated note I had to cancel my Time Warner service today and talked with one of their charming customer service reps about the BTN. She really couldn't add anything i hadn't heard before, but it was clear that Time Warner had prepped them for calls on the issue.

C U Next Tuesday Mark Silverman, or whenever my cable company picks up the Big Ten Network

I must admit I'm a little shocked at the amount of people siding with the Big Ten Network on the issue. While I understand the benefits of the network (more money, better promotion of other varsity sports) I'm totally pissed at the way the Big Ten has handled the issue. The public fight with cable companies is embarrassing as is the last minute feel of everything involving the network launch. Both sides need to come to a compromise- or the only person who loses is the fans and alumni- which is becoming all too typical in big time college athletics.

Hearing Jim Delaney on the radio today it sounds as if things aren't close to reaching a head. My guess would be things are not resolved until after the season, but I think Time Warner will budge before Comcast. This whole situation could be resolved much better if a la carte cable existed or if there was legit cable competition in cities, but that is just not the case and probably never will be.

Illinois sent me this letter about the BTN. Click here if you want to read it.

I'll post tomorrow with a pre-season preview- I promise it will be better

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