It’s not like we need more reasons, but I turn on channel 255 on my Comcast cable today and get this nice message (click to enlarge):
Getting back to the matter of Comcast vs. the Big Ten Network, I’m really not sure which side I’m on. I would say that I’m on neither side since my hate for Comcast wouldn’t allow me to side with them on anything. The idea of an all Big Ten channel is a good one, but only of course if the fans of the Big Ten have access to it. Those with Comcast, which is a huge cable provider in Big Ten country, currently won’t have the BTN when it launches at the end of the month.
I definitely see where Comcast is coming from in the sense that it can’t just put a brand new channel on its most basic lineup, because then any new network would want to do the same. That’s really where the Big Ten’s demands are a little too high. My problem with Comcast though, is the reasoning that they use, saying that people shouldn’t have to pay extra for a channel they won’t watch when only Big Ten fans would. I absolutely can’t stand that statement simply because I already pay for a ton of channels I never watch. I mean honestly, does Comcast really think HGTV and Lifetime provide any purpose for me? I know there is a balance so everyone with that cable lineup can be pleased, but don’t use that as an excuse to not put the BTN on basic cable.
In the end, I’m just hoping Comcast and the BTN can come to some kind of agreement that will make the new channel available by the time it launches. I know most won’t like this, but I’m actually hoping it ends up on the sports tier since I just started getting that last month. After yanking the NFL Network from the digital tier and putting it exclusively on the sports tier, I knew that I probably should just get it over with and upgrade to the sports package. I got a pretty good deal on it anyways, so it didn’t matter to me that much.
When all is said and done, I do hope that we see the Big Ten Network on basic cable. The chances of that happening, however, are about as good as Eastern Michigan upsetting Michigan, meaning that it won’t happen. Regardless, here’s some advice both sides should take.
For Comcast, stop being such a bad provider of service and stop acting like you own the cable world. For the Big Ten, first think things through before you move a ton of your football and basketball games to a channel that not many people can even watch, and second, don’t walk around thinking that you can get what you want simply because you’re the Big Ten. Just because you decided to launch a new network doesn’t mean Comcast has to put it on the basic cable tier. If they would it’d make life a lot less stressful for the Big Ten fans out there with Comcast, but that just simply isn’t going to happen.