The college football season is winding down and the winter days are starting to kick in, which means it’s basketball season in Indiana. For Hoosier fans, this season offers more potential than any other in the past several years. Unfortunately for Indiana and Purdue fans, if they are Comcast subscribers, it is likely they will miss out on a significant number of games.
As I was sitting down to watch the first IU game of the year, I came to find out it was only available on the Big Ten Network. Comcast had effectively convinced me that the Big Ten was to blame and that Comcast was doing its best to keep costs down and protect the consumers. Seeing as I couldn’t watch the game, I decided to do some research of my own on the Big Ten Network.
After reviewing both sides of the story, it seems apparent that Comcast and other major cable companies are in the wrong. They are claiming that the Big Ten Network will increase your costs and are attempting to sign a deal so that they can offer it as a premium sports package. They believe that passing the cost down to everyone is unfair because it may not be of interest to everyone. These arguments seem to be quite flawed. First of all, if there are not many people interested in watching the Big Ten Network, why would anyone be expected to actually pay more for it in a sports package? It also seems obvious that there are numerous channels on basic cable that would be far less popular than the Big Ten Network, yet they are included in everyone’s bill.
Comcast also argues that the price is too high and that it does not believe it worthwhile. However, there are more than 100 smaller cable companies and other satellite companies that have picked up the Big Ten Network. Clearly, if these smaller companies can afford it and believe it worthwhile, then huge companies like Comcast should be able to incorporate it into their programming. According to most sources, the Big Ten Network is quite competitively priced.
In actuality, the Big Ten Network will provide all of the non-prime-time games of Indiana and Purdue that all fans are used to watching for free. This relates not only to basketball games, but extends to a variety of sporting events that would be of interest to many fans. Indiana is not the only state in this fight for the fans. Fans in other Midwest states are suffering from the same treatment by their cable companies.
Overall, it seems obvious to me and I’m sure thousands of others that Comcast is trying to use its hold on the market to force the Big Ten into submission. Although it seems like there is little we can do, I would encourage everyone to take five minutes to look online and find the e-mail address of an appropriate Comcast representative to complain to. Take a few more minutes to look at all the information provided by not only Comcast and the Big Ten, but other third parties as well. For now, I will have to keep on reading and hearing about how good the Hoosiers are going to be this year.