Indiana-UIndy exhibition game won’t air on BTN

Sometimes, things are beyond your control.

On Saturday, I broadcast the Indiana men’s basketball exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis with Eric Gordon for BTN.com. The event was streamed live and then scheduled to air Tues, Nov. 8th at 2 pm on the linear network. Unfortunately, that will not be the case I’m told due to numerous technical problems.

The Big Ten Network has been a tremendous advancement for conference schools and especially for fans who now get more coverage than ever of their favorite team. Still young, there are some kinks in the system that haven’t been perfected, like the Student U Productions. Thanks to these productions, students produce, direct and call games at their Big Ten school, with a primary emphasis on Olympic sports.

Trying to expand their online presence, BTN has made three Indiana men’s basketball games this season only available live online. IU gains the biggest audience basketball-wise compared to the other 11 Big Ten schools so it’s a priority not to let this happen again. And fans deserve it.

Part of the problem with the broadcast was that we were without a few pieces of equipment because they were stolen two days prior. That never helps. BTN also admittedly forgot to “activate” the live stream which is why those of you that logged on, missed the first ten minutes or so. The crew had a few more problems that prevented us from producing a quality broadcast that represents the university, and Big Ten Network.

For those that couldn’t watch the live stream, I thought Eric did a nice job as a color analyst for his first time. He was more outgoing than usual and critical when he felt necessary. I obviously hope the NBA returns and he is busy out in Los Angeles, but he told me he had a great time and wants to do another broadcast.

Sorry for the problems and I promise to ensure a much smoother broadcast next time. This situation proves that every member of a broadcast crew is important for a quality production.

The two other games live on BTN.com are the Dec. 4th game against Stetson, and North Carolina Central on February 22nd.

After the broadcast, EJ and I recorded this postgame wrap.

23 Responses to Indiana-UIndy exhibition game won’t air on BTN
  1. Scott Morgan
    November 8, 2011 | 9:01 am

    The Big Ten network has every right to expand their online coverage as they see fit. I for one though could care less and am more than irritated that the only coverage for these two games will be online. I will NOT sit in front a computer and watch a choppy online stream with the video quality of 1950 black and white Zenith TV when I have a 42″ HD TV. A third game, Evansville, will also be streamed online, but by ESPN3. So there is another game to missed.

  2. Rick Fowler
    November 8, 2011 | 11:46 am

    Why get the Big Ten network if I can’t watch my team. I used to get every game on the local channel. I have two words for them and I can’t print either one of them

  3. Downing's 5th
    November 8, 2011 | 1:16 pm

    The Big 10 network already get oodles of bucks from the cable companies and now they want to start implementing more methods to nail fans with more fees to watch games? Many households already pay from $50-$75 per month to their cable companies. Parts of those fees are to take care of “packages” that include specific channels like the Big 10 network. I have Bright House as my cable TV provider. Bright House had to battle for months to acquire rights for the Big 10 Network. I don’t know the specifics, but it would be my guess that Comcast wanted to monopolize the coverage and it became a legal battle. Bright House eventually acquired rights to bring IU basketball and Big 10 coverage to my street address. I’m sure they paid hefty sums of cash so they could capture markets for local IU sports and the monthly fees I pay reclaim some of that investment. It’s a breach of trust, a slap in the face to the end consumer, after only a couple years a reason/justification the extra money you and I have kicked in for “packages” and the ever-increasing cable company fees, for the Big 10 network to now start streaming specific games because they are greedy backstabbers. Unfortunately, as a final consumer, your only true form of protest for such actions is to drop your cable company. Start listening to the IU radio network and enjoy Don Fischer’s enthusiastic voice.

    I was one of EJ’s biggest fans when he was at IU. I was mesmerized by his talent and extremely proud he eventually picked IU over Illinois as his college destination. I was hoping he would stick around for another year or two and help bring IU out of scandal and show the fans he was about more than just the big bucks and spotlight..I was hoping he could stand tall for college sports instead of collapsing to the desires that usurps the heart out of athletics and reduces all of sport to waving cash in front of a faces. Maybe “one-and-done” players feel justified in making decisions to leave college because of the risks too great an injury stripping away a lifetime of financial security for family and loved ones..Within the system that has been built, I guess that’s their right. I might not play that card any differently. They have worked hard and have been born with incredible gifts that took thousands upon thousands of hours in sweat, practice, and perseverance to refine. Sadly, at the end of the day, I don’t see him acting much differently than that company that wants to gouge you with extra money to watch a basketball game. He is a product of that system built upon values and decisions to replace a trust that used to come with commitment to fans that cheered for the colors of their school a bit louder than any singular individual. Having him back at IU to broadcast a game, albeit a poorly “streamed” game is hypocrisy and affront to what it means to be a true student/athlete embodying the spirit of loyalty to school and fans. In every play-by-play call and commentary uttered out his humble multimillion dollar mouth is an abandonment of a hope that one day college sports could revert back to a day when a bit of dignity was retained and young men barely a year out of high school were once removed from the easy temptations of selling out talent for the bottomless hunger a world built on corporate greed.

  4. Derek
    November 8, 2011 | 3:18 pm

    Excuse me but before the Big Ten Network, I got to see every single game. Even the exhibitions, including Athletes In Action. Now I pay more to watch a school already funded by my taxes. Now being someone who has to rely on 3G internet through my cell phone provider, I cannot afford the extra data charges. Games should be put online to solve an issue, not create one. Games should not be pulled off the air and only offered on line. I have already jumped through hoops and adjusted my budget to accommodate the network but this is too far. Equipment being stolen, technical issues, forgetting to put the feed online when that is the only way to watch it? That is garbage and for sure is not what I am paying for. The network has had plenty of time to grow. Years and years. Plus this is not a startup deal. Ever heard of Fox Sports? This is all garbage and I am getting ripped off. Excuses, are just that. If you are in business to deliver a product on a multi million dollar platform then you deliver. If an average person stole a dollar each from a couple hundred thousand people…Guess where they would be?? Prison. For many years. Take your lame and weak excuses along with this message to your supervisor at the Big Ten Network. By the way…A reliable and professional entity with an honest mindset of obligation to delivering the product to their customers would not have allowed any of your excuses to affect this game being broadcast. There would have been a backup plan in place covering any catastrophe. You guys and BTN screwed it up and screwed me over. I am sure the BTN will continue to do so. Thanks.

    • Scott Agness
      November 8, 2011 | 4:14 pm

      Derek,
      I apologize for the problems but they were out of my expertise….I was just calling the game. You are right, there are no excuses. I believe Indiana fans deserved to know what went down and understand the unusual circumstances.

      I don’t want to get into anymore specifics, just know I take this problem personally and will do all I can to prevent it from happening again.

      Reply

      • Tom
        November 8, 2011 | 11:50 pm

        Hi Scott.

        Do you know if they plan on archiving this on the BTN.com website? And if so, when? You’d think they’d be able to get this done by now (it’s been several days). I, like so many others, opted to wait until the replay on the Big Ten Network. With a small group of other Denver IU alums, we sat down this evening to watch what I thought I had recorded on my DVR. So when they didn’t show it, I decided to just go ahead and sign up for the BTN.com site. Once there and all of us hunkering down in front of my laptop, we find “the game has not yet been archived and is unavailable for viewing at this time.” A crazy disappointing night for us and I’m sure many IU fans nationwide who had planned on watching this tonight when they got home from work.

        But if you can find out when that will be posted, it would be MUCH appreciated. Also, be sure to pass all of our disappointment on to the greedy people at the Big Ten Network. We already pay extra to get that station on DirecTV and then they go ahead and make us pay to watch it on-line. You’d think they would at least include that with our Big Ten Network subscription. UGH!

        Thanks.
        Tom

        • Scott Agness
          November 9, 2011 | 12:01 am

          Tom,
          I’m sorry to hear of your problems. I can understand your frustration. Both plan A & B failed you. I’m guessing they won’t be achieving due to the handle of problems. If it’s not by now, 3+ days later, I doubt it will be. We tried to get them at least to put highlights up but they declined. Not a fun situation.

  5. Dan k
    November 8, 2011 | 4:00 pm

    Scotty, you just need me to partner up with you and then everything will go smoothly! Just like IU soccer games.

  6. Aaron W
    November 8, 2011 | 4:13 pm

    Very disappointed. I feel like it’s too bad we have to work this hard to see games. I hope it improves.

  7. Brett
    November 8, 2011 | 4:17 pm

    “especially for fans who now get more coverage than ever of their favorite team” – False Statement

    I got to see more games before the big ten network and I have a feeling as the years go I will get to see less and less games. Unless, of course, I want to sit in front of a computer and watch a crappy feed.

    • Scott Agness
      November 8, 2011 | 4:27 pm

      Brett,
      By “more coverage of their favorite team,” I meant Indiana in general. Field hockey, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, baseball. These sports are now shown and shown more often. This also includes Hoosier Hysteria and spring football scrimmage. IU basketball games were all already aired. That comment related to IU’s 24 sports as a whole.

      • Nick Stanton
        November 8, 2011 | 7:41 pm

        Thats fine that you are airing more sporting events from the school, but if that means we have to sacrifice basketball games(which is the only sport i care about)than it is not worth it. I know you are just doing your job and i respect that but please tell BTN that we do not approve.

  8. Mac
    November 8, 2011 | 4:34 pm

    First of all, I think games played by teams from state universities ought to be available for free on local TV. But that’s not the way it is any more since privatization has taken over. And I actually do see some good in having a network like BTN because fans who don’t live in the local market can subscribe and watch games they otherwise couldn’t see. But then again, BTN is not available everywhere in the country, so a lot of fans still miss out.

    But, back to the topic at hand. Because the BTN took the broadcasts away from local TV, I believe BTN should be required to show all the games, not just most of them. Their decision to show only some of the games and then make the other games only available for online streaming at additional costs is simply a price gouging plan. They present it like they are providing an additional service by making the non-broadcast games available on-line when actually they should be showing those games as part of the package people have already paid for with their subscription. What I would like to see BTN do is make all the IU games available in their cable package and make all the games available for on-line streaming as a separate subscription service. That way, those who pay extra to their cable companies to get BTN get all the games. And those who live where BTN isn’t available have the option to subscribe to the online service and get to see all the games.

    Since nearly 25% of the game was not seen during the live on-lining stream because someone at BTN forgot to turn the stream on, I think BTN should refund 25% of the subscription charge to those who subscribed to the on-line feed.

    I hope Eric Gordon gets to go back to playing professional basketball soon and is not a color commentator on any more BTN broadcasts. I agree with the sentiments express by Downing 5. I also thought that he was pretty terrible as an commentator. An absolutely great basketball player but a truly inept and annoying broadcaster.

    • B
      November 8, 2011 | 6:13 pm

      Settle down Mac. It was Eric’s first time as a color commentator. Not as easy as it looks (or sounds).

      • Mac
        November 8, 2011 | 6:44 pm

        I’m not saying that it’s easy. I’m just saying that Eric was really bad at it. I hope there isn’t a second time.

  9. Brian
    November 8, 2011 | 5:36 pm

    Scott, no offense to you as I believe you do a good job. The following is for the network execs whose wallets are already big enough.

    The Big Ten Network is FAILING miserably. It’s ridiculous to stream ONLY online. We had better coverage (and better quality) back in the WTTV-4 days with a 13-channel black and white television.

    This is always the water cooler conversion after an IU game when it’s not aired on TV. Many of the older generation will not watch online, nor will they pay extra for a low-budge, low-quality stream. And it bothers us all to miss a game. We are lifelong loyalists and the concepts you are running are foolish (Think Netflix style of foolishness).

    When you are practically begging for online subscriptions and then provide service this lacking, it’s enough to really upset your fans.

    By the way, the post game coverage showed the lack of quality we are being offered when they spell Eric’s last name as “Gordan”, and then have the names transposed incorrectly under each commentator!

  10. Nick
    November 8, 2011 | 6:29 pm

    We would not have had these difficulties if you guys would have just aired the game on tv instead of online. I think its funny that they make it sound like their doing us a favor by making us pay money to watch the game onlne. Scott agness could you please explain to me the reasoning behind making three games only available online besides greed?

  11. Mac
    November 8, 2011 | 7:11 pm

    Hey, Scott, I should have mentioned this before – thanks for telling us the truth about the cause for the “live” stream not starting until 10 minutes in. I know several people called and were told that it was a technical difficulty that was being worked on, which apparently was just a story, so I really appreciate you being honest with us. You do a great job (and I know it isn’t easy), so thanks!

    • Scott Agness
      November 9, 2011 | 12:03 am

      That’s the goal. There’s no excuse, these games have to get on. I realize the fan base is upset, rightfully so…which is why I wrote this to hopefully clear up the situation.

  12. Geoff
    November 8, 2011 | 7:19 pm

    There are a lot of IU fans perturbed by this, including myself. Brian mentioned the “older generation” will not watch online, but I have to tell you that because of the reasons he mentioned (low-quality stream, having to pay extra) younger fans will not watch online either. We are a very loyal fan base. If you need proof of that, reference what you mentioned about your ratings during IU’s basketball games, or look at the attendance numbers despite being in the basement of the Big Ten the past three years. We want to watch our basketball games. It is utterly baffling to me that we have to pay extra to view REGULAR SEASON games. I’m sorry, but that is ridiculous. If I absolutely have to watch games online I will, but BTN should not make us pay extra to view the games. It’s bad enough that we have to view them online. If I’m made to pay extra, I will NOT watch. I don’t care they are conference games or not. Personally, I love to view the out of conference games, including North Carolina Central or any cupcake for that matter, because it gives the fans a chance to see the how the different rotations play together. You can justify making us pay extra any way that you want – more coverage, more sports, whatever the case may be – but I will reiterate, I will NOT watch. Personally, I feel like if you want people to watch those sports – or extra coverage as you called it – then make them pay extra. There is no reason the basketball fans should be punished because BTN wants to make more money, which is exactly what’s going on here. BTN knows that the best way they can make more money is to put some major sports games online and make fans pay extra. It is hard to understand the greed, and it frustrates me to even think about it. As for a resolution to make up for this mistake that BTN is making us pay for, they should offer the remaining online games for free. The IU fans deserve that at least.

  13. Carson
    November 8, 2011 | 8:39 pm

    Everyone needs to let big ten network know how they feel. Go to contact at the bottom of their homepage. That is what I did. This is rediculous, and needs to change.

  14. Clint House
    November 8, 2011 | 11:51 pm

    What a joke!!! “Expand our online presence”, translation: squeeze you for every dollar that we can. This is what’s wrong with our country as a whole. Congratulations BTN, you are on your way to making the big time!!! Too bad we lemmings have no recourse but to follow along and pay whatever you say!!

  15. dave
    November 20, 2011 | 11:00 am

    could someone tell me how to cancel my subscription to BTN. FOR THE FREE STREAMING coupon for the IU UINDY game?

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