YOUR TURN: Thoughts on ESPNU

The Indiana-Purdue basketball game on Wednesday will be shown only on ESPN’s latest pet project, ESPNU.

And, wouldn’t you know, it costs extra money to get ESPNU. As if your cable bill wasn’t already hefty enough.

Doug Wilson, sports editor and grouchy columnist for the Herald-Times, is giving the ESPN empire an F in his weekly report card (see Tuesday’s H-T). Surely they will be ashamed when they learn of his outrage.

How do you feel about it? ESPN is basically using one of the great in-state rivalries in college basketball as a business tool to get new subscribers. And the result is that most local cable subscribers won’t get the Indiana-Purdue game on TV.

But then again, ESPN pays a lot of money for the rights to Big Ten games.

So, share your thoughts. What do you think?

 

40 comments

  1. It’s terrible, how are students that can’t afford tickets to the games that live in the dorms supposed to watch it, its screwing everyone

  2. I think it will have the opposite effect they desire. I will
    NEVER subscribe to ESPNU and give ESPN more
    income, when they use the fans hostage like this.
    I’d like it to become public who at IU cared more about
    money than the fans when they approved this!
    Finally, Comcast, which many of us have, doesn’t even
    offer ESPNU, so if some wanted to sign up they couldn’t.
    It’s crummy, it insults the fans, and it withholds one of
    the premier games of the year from the fans.
    Whomever approved this at IU, step forward and admit
    it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. WTTV, please come to our rescue! There are thousands
    of fans who want to see this game. What sports channel
    is so greedy it blacks out a game like IU vs. PU so people
    will buy their new channel? Don’t they know Comcast
    subscribers can’t get it anyway?
    IU’s media relations needs to step in and take action here.
    It’s outrageous and inexcusable.

  4. Just a comment on this:

    From what I understand, the IU athletic department had no choice in this matter. The Big Ten controls Indiana’s television rights and assigns them as it sees fit.

    Chris

  5. This is ridiculous. ESPNU will never get any of my money. Shame on the Big Ten for backing something so absurd as this, not getting to watch this very old rivilry, step up WTTV and correct this screw-up.

  6. When ESPN first came on the air it was a great idea, but many wondered how they could possibly fill 24 hours a day with nothing but sports. Now we have ESPN2, ESPN radio, ESPN Classic, and finally ESPNU. They now beat each aspect of sport to death over and over and over. They put gambling on the air and pretend it is sport. And finally they take the grand traditions and hold the fans hostage. Someone out there in Bristol, CT has become so greedy that they are trying to ruin sport for their own gain. It has been obvious for some time and this latest step should be no surprise.

  7. Of course IU was powerless to do anything about this (Ha Ha). But seriously, ESPN has the country by the nads. It won’t be long until you will have to pay extra for a Monday Night Football game. Bring back Chuck Marlow and have the Janitor Lady singing the IU fight song before the game. ESPNU has joined the Hoosier Nation in one respect, we all think they (Add expletive here).

  8. I don’t know which is worse, ESPN or the Herald Times writer who slams an IU Player, as in todays Who’s Hot and Who’ s not. I think both should be asked to leave our community. Either your with the Hoosier Nation, or against us, and Matt Dollinger showed his true colors today. Matt, why don’t you and ESPN take a hike? Whoever is responsible for writing this in our paper should leave. And go write where they have your type of column, Bagdad!

  9. ESPN is a money grubbing company. They do the same thing with ESPN 360. They want people to complain to their service providers or cable companies to do ESPNs work for them. Shame on them! I agree with the other comments, it will have a negative effect on ESPNs reputation. Thanks for letting us vent. I hope ESPN hears our views.

  10. It’s already bad enough the way ESPN presents IU games, with its overload on advertising and lack of focus on the actual game play. Countless times the game has been reduced to a small square in the corner of the screen while game play from football or some other sports story is given dominance.

    Now, ESPN wants to take away the one game that is perhaps most sacred to IU fans. If ESPN continues this, what other games will be cut? It’s terrible that there is a possibility of never being able to watch an IU game from home again.

  11. Once again, economics is the main culprit. It is all about the profit motive. And nothing is going to change that reality. Economic exploitation rules the day, thanks to the silence and absence of legislation. Sports are no exception. Greed! Greed! Greed!

  12. I think its crap first we have the NFL network telling us that we half to pay extra to watch Thursday night games and now ESPN is telling us that we cant watch the IU purdue game at Assembly hall without having there extra network I dont think so. I guess I will be listing to the radio tommorrow night. THANK ESPN

  13. Those int he past and present( Big ten included) have not excercised any foresight into the ramifications of their decisions.

    This is the state of Indiana, the Indiana/Purdue rivalry belongs to us, the citizens of Indiana. Unfortunately, we have been left holding nothing.

    Purdue and Indiana should have seen this coming the protected the broadcast rights of this game years ago.

    Both institutions were asleep at the wheel concerning this game.

    However, both schools are very fortunate to have Painter and Sampson rejuvinating the level of play that educated basketball citizens ( Hoosiers ) truly appreciate and enjoy watching.

    Let’s have a classic game which ESPN sheepishly shows on ESPN classic !!

  14. Dont blame ESPN. IU and the Big Ten signed a contract with ESPN. No one made ESPN take over the showing of the BIg Ten games. All parts of a contract are negotiable. IU sold away our opportunity to watch the Purdue game. This does not build loyalty at a time when IU is struggling to rebuild a fan base in several sports.
    The next time IU calls me and asks for money I’ll tell them they got my share when they sold the rights to the Purdue game.

  15. I’ve got a couple of responses for Bill Money. 1. The Hoosier Basketball Report Card in today’s paper wasn’t written by Matt Dolinger. I wrote it, but my name was mistakenly left off it. So I’m responsible for it. My question is why you want a newspaper that’s “with the Hoosier Nation.” Our job is to be neither for, nor against, the Hoosiers, but to serve readers who follow the Hoosiers by giving them in-depth, timely coverage of the team that is honestly and impartially reported. If the media itself becomes part of the Hoosier Nation, you will receive only the information the IU basketball program wants you to have. We are journalists, not part of the PR machine for the university.

    2. Part of our job is to report on who is playing well and who isn’t. I don’t see that as slamming a player. I do take into account that although they are in the public spotlight, the players are teenagers and early 20-somethings. To report that Ben Allen – who I like as a person – is struggling since returning from mono is part of doing an honest job of reporting on the team. That’s all I’m saying about Ben in reporting that he was not “Hot” last week. All players are up some weeks and down others, so who knows, you might soon see Ben in “Who’s Hot.”

    OK, back to Baghdad, where I belong.

  16. This is very unfortunate. Business contiunes to take the fun out of sports. The fan base for all sports has, unfortunately, bought into the business model. Kids are treated like royalty and gods. As fans we allow this to continue because we follow what business is doing. Gone are the days of Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, and all the athletes who participated in their sport for “the love of the game.” Everyone who has a chance to make money off of an event will do so. This is all about money, and ESPNU will not enjoy any of mine .

  17. One other thing, I do think most of the sports bars in Bloomington will be able to get the game, so that could be a fun way for local fans who don’t have tickets to watch it, although you might have to go early to get seats. I received a text message from Yogi’s saying they will definitely have the game and staff at Applebee’s told me they will also be showing it. I’ll call around to Nick’s, Macri’s, Kilroy’s Sports and some of the other bars today to see if they’ll have it, and I’ll let you know what I find out. With a situation like this coming up, it’s too bad City Grille isn’t open anymore. I always liked watching a game there.

  18. Yes, but some of us are older fans who can’t go to a
    bar to watch the games for various reasons.
    IU, the BIG Ten and ESPN have really left us with no
    defense.
    I hope they are proud and have enough people to count
    all that money.

  19. ESPN is a monopoly where greed rules… Better get used to it. ESPN does a poor job in just about everything they touch anymore. Last week the idiot announcers called “Indiana”, “Oklahoma”. Their East Coast bias is so obvious I can’t stand to listen to any of them. Don’t you ever notice how quiet they become when their “chosen” team is behind, then they have to start talking about rules violations and stupid crap no one cares about. ESPN is garbage and the Big Ten is stupid for dealing with them.

  20. Uh, there’s always radio to listen to the game on. That’s what we had to do way back in the 20th century.

  21. Shown below is an answer and copy of an email sent to Insight Communications in regards to:
    The Golf Channel which falls into the same situatuion of the IU-Purdue game.

    From: Fulford.K@insightcom.com
    Subject: RE: Golf Channel
    Date: January 9, 2007 1:56:13 PM EST
    To: steelejames@mac.com

    Mr. Steele,

    I am not aware of any plans to add the Golf Channel to the Classic Service
    in the near future. There are several reasons for this: Golf Channel is a
    “niche” network and if we were to raise rates to add this to Classic, the
    vast majority of our customers would be outraged and demand that it be
    removed. I understand your frustration over the PGA’s decision to negotiate
    with Golf Channel to carry these 15 tournaments, however Insight has no
    control over programming, we simply deliver a service. I would recommend
    you provide feedback to the PGA Commissioner and/or Golf Channel to express
    your opinions regarding this decision.

    Several of our sports channels such as ESPN News, ESPN U, ESPN Classic, and
    NFL Network are only available on Insight Digital because the majority of
    our customers are not interested in this type of programming and thus, it is
    priced accordingly. I see you have had Insight Digital Cable in the past,
    and I do not consider $13 per month an exorbitant price for the added
    features and programming you receive. Please call Customer Care to discuss
    your programming options. Thank you for your feedback, and have a great
    day.

    Insight Customer Care
    Bloomington, IN
    1800-824-1769

    —–Original Message—–
    From: steelejames@mac.com [mailto:steelejames@mac.com]
    Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 10:28 PM
    To: webforms@insightcom.com; bloomingtonwebforms@insightcom.com;
    Bloomington_Dispatch@insightcom.com; sommers.k@insightcom.com
    Subject: Website Feedback Form: Other issues

    James P Steele Jr
    2304 S. Woodbluff Ct
    Bloomington IN 47401
    Daytime Phone: (812)339-1084
    Evening Phone: ()-

    Email: steelejames@mac.com

    Insight has priced the average golfer and retiree from watchng the golf
    tournaments on TV. To get The Golf Channel, we have to upgrade again to
    other channels we don’t want or need We could not watch the Mercedes-Benz
    tournament this week end nor will we be able to watch 14 other tournaments
    in 2007. Very unfair pricing why can’t you drop the Gold Channel down to
    Classic Cable? You may force some to seek other means to watch TV
    programming and use internet connections. What say you?
    Check out this BLOG:
    http://web.mac.com/steelejames/iWeb/GotchaSometing/Blog/Blog.html
    Sincerely,
    James Steele

  22. I know this might seem fruitless, but ESPN has a link to email the ombudsman (the guy who’s supposed to facilitate communication between the customers and the corporation) on its homepage, and if we flood him with enough messages, we might be able to change this situation (probably not this season, but possibly in the future). I know the odds are slim, but the ombudsman has more say at ESPN than the HT (sorry Chris and Doug). Let’s make a little noise!

  23. The people in the Big Ten and ESPNU must be the same ones who control gasoline prices in Bloomington. Greed rears its’ ugly head again!

  24. While I understand people’s frusration over not being able to see this game, I think some are going a little overboard.

    First of all, of IU’s 30 games this year, ONLY 1 IS ON ESPNU. It’s not like this is a common occurrence, it’s one freaking game (albeit a very big one).

    Second, if you live in Bloomington, all you have to do is subscribe to the Insight Digital package for the month and you will be able to watch the game. I think they even let you subscribe for one day and then call back the next day and cancel it and you only pay a pro-rated fee.

    Third, why not make the best out of the situation rather than just complaining? There will be thousands of people at bars all over Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Chicago (another hot-bed for IU fans) watching this game. Go out, eat a good meal, and have a few beverages with tons of other IU fans who will be doing the exact same thing. Admittedly, I will be at the game, but if I wasn’t, I would have no problem going out and celebrating a big Hoosier victory with a bunch of other IU fans. The game starts at 7:00…even the old folks will still be home by 9:30 for bedtime.

  25. Well put Jeffrey. I remember 4 or 5 years ago when our opening game at Charlotte wasn’t even televised. My buddies and I had to huddle around a radio. I can’t tell you how frustrating that is. Got the W though. Leach had a solid game. Same situation for a consolation game in Alaska against Texas. That’s all I got.

  26. Jeffrey,
    Some “old folks” can’t drive at night, so it’s not as easy
    as it sounds. And we don’t look or act like old codgers.
    We’ve been IU fans since before you were born, I would
    bet, and have the same right to see the game or games
    of our choice that anyone has.
    I’ve listened to many an away game on radio, but that is
    not my choice. Hopefully the Big Ten will take steps to
    prevent this exercise in greed in the future.

  27. DEAR CHRIS,

    ABOUT DJ HAVING SOME SUPPORT BATTLING FOR THE BOARDS. I THINK THAT IF COACH SAMPSON HAS VISIONS OF OPTIMISM ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF BEN ALLEN, FORGET IT AND GO WITH SOMEONE, EVENTHOUGH SMALLER, WHO HAS A CONCEPTION WHERE BALL IS AND WHERE ITS GOING TO GO AND HAS THE ENERGY TO FIGHT FOR THAT SPACE. I FEEL PLAYERS WITH COMPETENCE SHOULD SUPERCEDE THOSE WHO ARE FOUNDERING. HOPEFULLY, THIS POSITION WILL BE A PRIORITY AS SAMPSON JUDGES THE TALENT IN THE JUCO RANKS.

    DANNYP

  28. You couldn’t pay me to subscribe to espnu. Indiana needs to get control of it’s own basketball games for television coverage.

  29. Why do people have so much greed to not allow the Indiana-Purdue game to be shown to the faithful people of both teams . It is down right sinful not to allow people of this state enjoy a badketball game betwen these two schools. In the future I will not support ESPN in any way. SHAME ON YOU ESPN. James D. Richards

  30. Hoosiers fans, If you think missing one IU game on TV vs. Purdue was bad, then you wait until the Big Ten Network launches next September. Goodbye ESPN+ games on WTTV-TV Channel 4 and say hello to the “Big Ten Network.” You will have to call your local cable or satellite provider to order Big Ten Network and request it just like ESPNU. You think missing one conference game on TV is bad, try missing as many as 10 to 15 Hoosier total hoop games in 2007-08. Hoosier fans and all Big Ten fans will be up in arms. I would hate to be the receptionist at the Big Ten office next fall and winter!

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