Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta says he doesn’t know if the Big Ten Network and the state’s largest cable provider will come to an agreement before the season gets underway. The network and Mediacom are at odds over whether the network should be offered on basic cable or in a separate package.
Barta says he doesn’t think either side is wrong. Barta says Iowa wants to see that as many games as possible are seen, and the Big Ten Network believes that the games should be on basic cable to do that. He says Mediacom is trying to put the games in a place they think they should be, and "We don’t agree."
Barta says he expects both sides to eventually come to an agreement. "And whether or not it will be ready for the first game, I can’t predict that," Barta says,"I’m confident and anxious for them to keep talking between now and then, so as many Hawkeye fans who can watch the games are able." Barta says this is the natural progression of sports on TV.
Barta says the evolution of over-the-air sports has been moving, as he points out several games have been on the ESPN cable channel for many year. Barta says many people who only get the games over-the-air have been missing the games on ESPN already, "Unfortunately this is yes, one more step were it is on the cable or satellite, which I think is where the industry. is headed." Barta was asked what fans are saying about the issue.
He says the biggest thing he’s asked is if the Big Ten Network is going to be on cable in time for the first game. Barta says he differs with the polls and cable providers that say people don’t care, because he says they tell him they care. Barta says many people are taking advantage of their options outside of cable to see the game. Iowa opens the season September 1st.