Due to an ongoing dispute between Iowa’s biggest cable TV company and the Big Ten Network, University of Iowa sports fans are facing the same challenge with basketball season that they did with football. Last night (Thursday), was the Hawkeye men’s basketball team’s first exhibition game — against Simpson College — but you had to be in Carver Hawkeye Arena to see it. That’ll be the case with many of this year’s Iowa games, angering Hawk fans like Jeri Johnson of Iowa City.
Johnson says, "I won’t be able to see them because of the Big Ten Network and I don’t like it." Mediacom and the Big Ten Network were in negotiations for the entire football season and it’s likely Mediacom won’t pick up the network this basketball season, even though the network will carry more than 20 Iowa games. Johnson says she could resort to listening to games on the radio but would miss the TV coverage. "Totally different because you can see the action and see what’s going on," Johnson says.
The Big Ten Network will carry more than half of the Hawks games this season. Since its August debut, it hasn’t been available to Mediacom customers. Garry Briscoe, a Hawkeye fan in Iowa City, says it’s frustrating. Briscoe says "We either have to go to satellite or go to someone else’s house." University of
Iowa student Nick Heider agrees, because even season ticket holders are often hard-cores who’ll go home and re-live what they just witnessed in person. Heider says "Even when you do come to the game, you want to watch replays of it at home or watch the game again or save it for later." A spokespersoon for the Big Ten Network says they’re still "miles away" from reaching a deal with Mediacom.