A response from Comcast

I just spoke with Mark Apple, regional vice president of communications and public affairs for Comcast. Putting it mildly, Apple doesn’t agree with what Jim Delany and Mark Silverman told us this morning, except for one thing — he agrees that the Big Ten Network and Comcast aren’t close to reaching an agreement.

Apple said that if Delany continues to insist that Comcast offer the Big Ten Network on expanded basic cable, rather than on its sports tier, football season will arrive and pass without a deal being struck.

“We’re not going to give in either, so if that’s their stance we’re not going to be able to come to agreement,” Apple said.

Apple disagreed with Delany’s contention that the Big Ten Network will be so popular in states that have Big Ten schools that it demands to be put on expanded basic cable, which is the package most customers receive.

“If that’s the case, let’s put it on our sports tier and see who subscribes to it,” Apple said. “If he thinks the demand is that strong, what is he afraid of?”

The Comcast sports tier is an extra $4.95 per month. It has 10 stations, including the NFL Network, NBA TV and CSTV (College Sports Television). Apple said Comcast wants to pay for the Big Ten Network based on how many Comcast customers sign up for the sports tier rather than by the $1.10 per customer per month that the Big Ten Network is seeking for all Comcast customers living in Big Ten areas.

“Our position has been very public,” Apple said. “We want the ability to put this channel on our sports tier. That’s our counter. We want to be able to provide this programming, but we don’t want to burden customers who don’t want to bother with it.”

7 comments

  1. What if The Big Ten Network lowers its $1.10 per subscriber
    fee. Would Comcast then add it to the basic package?
    This question has not been answered

  2. What it really boils down to is they both are saying “To
    h*** with the customers. We’re going to get what we
    want or nothing will be done.
    This is the crummiest thing a business could do to fans
    in Big Ten areas. If there was an alternative I would never
    go back to Comcast! I know about Directv but don’t
    especially want a satellite on my roof.
    So the fan is forgotten and the execs celebrate.

  3. I say again: I will never be a Comcast customer again if this doesn’t get settled in the next 3 weeks. At least if I have DirecTV I can get Sunday Ticket.

  4. I DROPED DISH TWO MONTHS AGO FOR DIRECTV, I’M NOT PAYING ANY MORE WITH THE SAME CHANNELS. DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH THE DEAL WON’T HAPPEN. COULD BE A SPECIAL SEASON! I’M NOT GOING TO MISS IT!!!!

  5. Don’t add a new channel to expanded Cable! People can choose to pay the extra if they want. I could care less about Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. I’ll less to Minnesota on the radio and catch the OSU, Michigan, Wisconsin games on basic cable.

    I could care less about Ohio State hockey and Illinois Volleyball.

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