Tuesday, August 26, 2008

All Things Television

First things first...I got the BTN today!! That's what I'm talking about Comcast...it took you a while, but you finally came around. You finally came around, and I love you for it. Don't screw it up.

Now, on to some more good news for the Big Ten Network. After a contentious Friday afternoon in which the Executive Vice President of Time Warner attempted a not so subtle low blow on Mark Silverman and the BTN, Time Warner and the year old Network struck a deal late Monday night. Big Televen fans in Ohio and Wisconsin will now be able to watch their Buckeyes and Badgers play their opening game. Don't kid yourself people, this is huge. Time Warner was one of the last cable carriers within the Midwest to pick up the BTN, and don't think they didn't know it. But even bigger in this whole scenario, the BTN showed that it can put cheap shots and bullshit negotiating tactics behind them to serve their customers. Props.

Coupled with the news that a deal with Mediacom, serving mostly Iowa and some southern Illinois, is immenent...that leaves pretty much only Charter Communications holding their ground. Ya know Charter, Custer once took a stand too...and that one didn't work out so well.

In other news, ESPN just paid $2.25 BILLION for the rights to broadcast all SEC football games after CBS takes the marquis game. The mistake that ESPN made in this deal, and this is key here, is that they paid waaaay too much. Everyone affiliated with college football knows that SEC people can't count past 6. So expecting them to be able to count all the way up to $2.2B is just ridiculous. Secondly, ESPN is a main reason that SEC fans hate the Big Ten. It's true, ansd they're about to get a taste of their own medicine. The whole "Big Ten is down" thing started in the fall of 2006. Knowing they had the TV rights to a potential epic game of Ohio State and Michigan, ESPN had all 10 talking heads hyping up both teams all season. Even after Michigan lost to the Buckeyes, they remained #2 in the country based on all the hype that ESPN gave that game and their gutsy performance on the road. Now, we all know what happened after that. Florida jumped Michigan in the polls, and proceeded to trounce Ohio State in the BCS National Championship. Michigan didn't fare much better in the Rose Bowl against USC. All of a sudden, the two teams that ESPN had hyped all year and forced down college football fans' throats in order to improve their own ratings had been crushed on the two biggest stages possible.

And wouldn't you know it, the very same conference that claimed a Big Ten bias due to ESPN's force feeding has signed on for a 15 year curse of the talking heads. And true SEC fans know it too. As Orson Swindle, writer at EDSBS.com and Florida Gator fan, so eloquently put it,

"ESPN’s love is herpes for the fan of any team: once acquired, it never really goes away, and though contracting it is a sign that you did something right, it also burns and flares up when one least expects it."

Good luck with those sores in your nether regions SEC fans...they are the first sign of the dreaded "overrated" label.


  1. The Big Ten Network insulates the conference since noboby nationally except those with DirecTV can view the games. Besides Michigan and Ohio State, how can anyone in California or Florida or Virginia or Texas watch a Big Ten game now that all the middle-tier teams in the BT play on their network? The conference is losing credibility daily because of this.

    The SEC is smart to put ALL its big and semi-big games on national outlets like CBS and ESPN. This attracts attention, debate, exposure...all of which helps in the polls, bowl selections, and recruiting. And ESPN is smart to take them, because they know their fans are nut-jobs and will watch every freaking second...which is advertising dollars all day.

    Lastly, ESPN did not create the "overrated" moniker of the Big Ten. The league did. They lose big bowl games, lose big non-conference games, and don't put their full product on national TV enough. I realize this is a Big Ten blog, but quit sleeping with Jim Delany.

  2. Well they also did a deal with charter but it sucks.. :/ I live in southwestern Illinois which is very much Big Ten country and yet we got shafted on this deal with charter.. only northern illinois got BTN on their cable line up. They haven't even put it on the digital sports tier down here.. *sigh*