Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Insight Makes The Deal

Well, with the opening game of the season less than 72 hours away, sold out, and being broadcast only on the previously mentioned Big Ten Network, it's getting down to crunch time. Come Saturday there are going to be a lot of pissed off Buckeye Fans...

BUT... less than there would've been as of yesterday.
Big Ten Network, Insight reach deal
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 4:20 PM

The Big Ten Network and Insight Communications reached agreement on a contract today, clearing the way for Insight cable subscribers in central Ohio to watch Ohio State's season-opening football game Saturday in the comfort of their homes.

Ohio State will open the 2007 season against Youngstown State at noon in Ohio Stadium. The game is one of an anticipated three or four Buckeyes games, including Sept. 8 against Akron, that will be carried on the new network.

Insight will carry the Big Ten Network as part of its "classic" service package when the network launches programming at 8 p.m. Thursday. In central Ohio, the network will be available on Channel 24 to subscribers without set-top converters and on Channel 26 to those with converters, Insight spokesman Bob Lau said.

(Check the Full Article)

Yes, that's right - Insight and the Big Ten Network came to an agreement, and the 2nd largest cable company in Columbus WILL be carrying the new network when it kicks off tomorrow night, and therefore WILL be showing the game on Saturday. And it's even going to be on the basic service ("classic") tier... which seems to me like Insight gave-in somewhat on that. Personally, I've placed most of the blame on the Big Ten & the network from the beginning, as the whole nonsense that it has to be on the classic service is just stupid. A sports add-on or special sports package (which we already have... with ESPNU, CSTV, etc.) is the perfect place for a new niche channel like this - there's no reason everyone should have to "pay" for it (even if the cost is hidden in their regular cable bill and not itemized).

But... in Columbus (and Evansville, IN apparently), Insight gave-in, while in other areas it'll be on the sports tier where it belongs. From their previous "use this to send a complaint to the Big Ten Network" site, there's a little more detail:
We believe that the compromise we have reached with The Big Ten Network is a good one. We are carrying the channel as part of our Classic service in the communities we serve in Columbus, Ohio and Evansville, Indiana which are in the heart of Big Ten territory. In the rest of our cable systems, which are located primarily in Big East and SEC territory, we will provide the channel on our Digital 2.0 tier alongside our other specialized sports programming. These additional areas include all of our Kentuckiana communities in and around Louisville as well as Lexington, Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky markets.
So... win one for the bad guys, I guess. But hey, at least we get to watch the game! Bonus!