Friday, July 20, 2007

More Big Ten Network Follies

The Big Ten continues to try and shove its network down the public throat, and the public continues to shove back.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette, in an online poll, asked whether the Big Ten Network should be put on Mediacom's basic tier of service. Mediacom is a cable company that serves much of the state of Iowa.

Hoping to manipulate the result, Rick Klatt, an associate athletic director at Iowa, took it upon himself to have a special email distributed to Iowa Hawkeye ticket purchasers and other supporters urging them to vote in the Gazette's poll.

"I invite you to cast a vote in favor of Mediacom placing the Big Ten Network on the basic level of service it makes available to its customers in the state of Iowa," Klatt wrote in the email.

But when the final numbers were in, roughly 82% opposed putting the network on the basic tier, handing Klatt a crushing defeat.

Klatt's opinion of the validity of online polls changed dramatically when the result didn't go his way. Asked by the Des Moines Register about his email, Klatt defended his actions, then dismissed the poll.

“I have problems with online polls,” he said before quickly spinning the argument. “They aren’t scientific or accurate, but there is another side to this argument and we believe we have the strong evidence that Big Ten sports is important in Iowa and that has to be recognized.”

This isn't the first time Klatt has found himself in the middle of a controversy. He was involved in Iowa's decision to secure seven domain names that could be used to criticize athletic department officials, including coach Kirk Ferentz.


Brady said...

Not Accurate cause As usual ISU fans have to F*&K up everything. ISU fans created a bot to vote NO over and over. Hence the wide discrepancy in votes.

While I'm sure there are a large number of people who don't feel the BTN should be on basic cable, we will never really know due to the usual low-brow and childish antics that are Iowa State!!

Anonymous said...

Who wouldn't want to pay extra to watch college volleyball and tennis?

You can't put a price on watching Indiana play Indiana State in football, or Northwestern take on Northeastern.

Unknown said...

Rick Klatt may look like an idiot but there is a larger point. If 82% don’t want the channel, it means 18% do. Why not just buy it as part of a separate package. It seems that would end this fight and we could concentrate on football.

Anonymous said...

WHO-TV in Des Moines ran a similar online poll yesterday. They asked whether you would pay an extra $1.10/month to add BTN to your cable network? 9% said Yes; 91% said No.

Adding this to basic is akin to the tail wagging the dog. This is digital tier programming, and the sooner the Big Ten comes to grip with that concept, the better it will be for all Big Ten fans. The problem is that Fox owns 49% of BTN and desparately wants to cash in on their investment.