As I watched my beloved Brewers sink further into the abyss last night (I think it is literally the 50th time I have seen their bullpen blow a game this year) there were some ads of note.
You may or may not know that Fox Sports owns part of the Big Ten Network. I was watching the Brewers game on Fox Sports Wisconsin - during the game there were several ads asking people to "call their local cable provider" to urge them to put the BTN on the standard list of channels. I assume these ads were free since Fox is promoting its own product.
Later, during the news there were more ads for the BTN, featuring Wisconsin head football coach Bret Bielema urging people to do the same thing - call your local cable provider and bitch.
Really, this is getting borderline ridiculous, and I guarantee the Big Ten coaches and athletic directors are probably sick of having to do these silly ads and writing silly letters. The BTN must be hurting to be this desperate.
I read a little more into the letter I received from U of Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther, that I posted about here.
Check this out from the letter:
We do not want you to miss Fighting Illini games which will be televised on the Big Ten Network, including 5-7 football and 18-21 men's basketball games.
So, even though Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has stated numerous times that the BTN is about ALL Big Ten sports, even Iowa women's volleyball, in the letter they seem to be waving around the carrot of the only two sports that really matter - FOOTBALL AND MEN'S BASKETBALL, just like I wrote about several months ago. Delany is starting to realize that NOBODY wants to watch Big Ten football reruns from 8 years ago, and NOBODY wants to watch womens fencing, men's rowing, or lacrosse, track and field, volleyball, tennis, or even baseball. The money sports are football and mens basketball and this part of the letter basically admits that.
Here is another interesting item:
As of today, the Big Ten Network has national agreements with DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse and completed deals with nearly 100 cable companies across the Midwest.
100 cable companies across the Midwest. Really? Lets take a look. From this wiki there seems to be 41 in the whole United States. This page looks to have about 30 in the whole USA. Wisconsin only seems to have three cable companies. I guess I don't have a firm grasp on the whole situation, but I can almost certainly guarantee that there are NOT 100 cable companies across the Midwest. I bet the BTN in the letter is intentionally using the subsidiaries of cable companies that they do have deals with to make their point. The fact remains that it doesn't seem that the BTN, no matter what they say, has even ONE deal done in any hometown of ANY BIG TEN TEAM, and the season starts in three days. That is a lot of middle finger the BTN is receiving.
We need your help today.
Blow it out your butt! I am a busy guy - I didn't create the network and come up with the lame plan! I am not going to spend one second helping the BTN. Do you think they would help me with my business? Didn't think so.
Tell a friend. Forward this email to your family, friends and colleagues and ask them to get involved. The cable companies need to hear from Illinois fans today.
Yea, BTN, I will get right on this.