Iowa football fans with cable access have been able to watch every game this year. But basketball fans with satellite receivers feel they’re coming up short on the Hawks this year.
A cable television network, such as the Big Ten Network or ESPN’s family of channels, will televise 25 of Iowa’s 31 men’s basketball games. But that doesn’t include several early non-conference games.
The Big Ten Network will stream the other six games live on its Web site — www.bigtennetwork.com. Mediacom will air that feed live on its Connections Channel. But satellite and cooperative companies don’t get the feed, which leaves their fans out in the cold.
Here’s a sampling off some fans (edited version) in the Corridor area about not watching Iowa basketball:
“Have you heard this … the Big Ten Network is only televising 3 of iowa’s nonconference basketball games. They are allowing Mediacom to air the remaining nonconference games. What a crock … For the last 3 years they were whipping up the fan base with BTN rallying cries. Now they’re giving games away.”
“Last year when the BTN and Mediacom could not come to terms, fans were told to get a satellite dish. Dish and DirecTV got a huge number of new subscribers. Now the BTN has allowed Mediacom and only Mediacom to carry these games. What a slap in the face to fans who supported the BTN last year. I could live with them not showing the games, but putting them of Mediacom is just wrong.”
Here’s the real explanation. The Big Ten Network doesn’t get overflow channels on either digital or satellite television like during football season so it broadcasts only one game at a time for all 11 Big Ten schools. Iowa’s games on Friday, 17 and 25 for sure will be on its Web site and Mediacom Connections channel. The BTN is airing the Nov. 23 game against Oakland. From Dec. 2 on, either the BTN or the ESPN family of networks will carry every Iowa game.
It does seem a bit unfair that those people who were among the first to jump from Mediacom to the satellite companies, and perhaps the most loyal of the recyliner Hawkeyes fans, do get hosed on this one. But the games are available free of charge online so people can watch them there. Or, there are PLENTY of tickets available. Perhaps the next-best decision for next year is for Iowa or the Big Ten Network to organize a side deal with local Iowa affiliates — kind of like the old ESPN-Plus arrangement — so every fan in the state can watch games not televised by the BTN or ESPN(2/U/Classic/Deportes).
It would be good for as many eyeballs in the state to see this team after last year’s lagging court performance and attendance numbers.