Comcast Forces Illini Fans To Suffer Through Northwestern Game

Except for those of you in the Chicagoland area, the entire state of Illinois should have been able to tune in to the Big Ten Network to see the Illini take on Louisiana-Lafayette. Unfortunately, Comcast didn’t get the memo.

From the Peoria Journal Star:

“The directions that we sent to Comcast were misunderstood,” Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman said. “Instead of putting the Illini game on the main channel . . . inadvertently the Northwestern game was put on the main network throughout the state.

“We’re going to have another level added to this process . . . to make sure it doesn’t happen again. What happened happened, and we know the fans were very upset.”

Most Comcast customers in the state subscribe to digital service and were able to see the Illinois game in its entirety, said Rich Ruggiero, Comcast spokesman in Chicago.

“Comcast regrets that standard cable customers were unable to watch the game, and we are working with the Big Ten Network to ensure Comcast will be able to offer Big Ten Network coverage of Illinois games on standard cable to central Illinois viewers throughout the rest of the season,” Ruggiero said.

TV snafu prompts apologies [PJS]
(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Can’t they replay it?

    • iMe2 says:

      @Phillip M. Vector: You must have been one of those people who didn’t mind (or were blissfully unaware) that NBC tape-delayed much of its Olympic coverage. Well, it’s actually a 1,000 times worse if you want to watch a team you are heavily emotionally invested in play its games live.

      • nybiker says:

        @iMe2: Gee, were the Olympics on already? Considering it’s like the Corporate Challenge (years ago sponsored by Manny Hanny) with all the commercials, I haven’t watched them since probably 1980 or ’84.
        And for me tape-delay is another reason to not even watch them nowadays. Like how are we supposed to not find out who won what? Remember the story a few months ago here about a coffee emporium employee trying to get its customers not to tell the results of some event?

      • @iMe2: True.. It’s bad not seeing it first hand.

        But I think replaying the game, saying sorry and trying to fix the issue is a reasonable response.

        • iMe2 says:

          @Phillip M. Vector: I think we aren’t on the same page, let me use an analogy – imagine for the whole week leading up until Christmas it was supposed to snow on Christmas day, and you go to bed on Christmas eve thinking how wonderful it will be to wake up in the morning and see beautiful big white snowflakes falling slowly to the ground, and all the trees and houses are covered in snow and the all Christmas lights look just wonderful.

          And then you actually wake up in the morning and all it is is frigid and cold and windy and out-and-out miserable. Of course, the day after it snows, but who cares? Christmas is ruined.

          • @iMe2: Umm.. Besides the fact that snow does not christmas make, yeah. I think we can agree it was a bad thing.

            But comcast (for once) seems to be willing to try and fix it (at least, they say they will) and running a replay, while not christmas day snow, is at least snow on the 26th.

    • ovalseven says:

      @Phillip M. Vector:

      Can’t they replay it?

      There’s no doubt college athletes would have the stamina to replay a game that the fans missed the first time. It’s tougher in the Pros.

      I got the Detroit Pistons to do this for me once. I felt bad for making them play again until 5am, but I give ’em credit for still managing to win by the same score as earlier.

      And, yes. I knew what you meant.

  2. Red_Flag says:

    …and the affected customers should receive some manner of compensation for the service they pay for not being delivered. An apology is a good step, but if consumers can’t accidentally not pay their bills and expect a simple apology makes everything right, then neither should corporations.

  3. Mr. Kite says:

    As a Northwestern alum, personally I welcome our new Comcast overlords.

  4. nybiker says:

    Couldn’t they read about it the next day?

  5. NotATool says:

    At least regular Comcast subscribers get BTN — as a Dish Network subscriber I got BTN last year. Not this year. I would have to upgrade to a “PLUS” package (in the Chicago market) to get BTN. Since they can’t even get the games right, I’m glad I didn’t upgrade.

  6. mrosedal says:

    I work for the U of I and live in Urbana. It was just recently that they switched to Comcast in Champaign-Urbana and life was miserable. After they took over they immediately raised our rates. So not only did I not get a choice on the take over now I don’t have a choice as my rates go up. I hate the scum that is Comcast.

    • Robobot says:

      @mrosedal: It’s a similar story in my area. The poor kids who live on campus have no choice but to deal with Comcast. Comcast is one of our largest sponsors and the only option in the dorms. They are basically the only option in the area surrounding campus as well. (Verizon says they service a portion of the area, but I have never heard of anyone successfully getting Verizon installed after calling).

  7. junip says:

    looks like a comcast epidemic. which team will they accidentally not show next week? :p
    I don’t think another “oops” will suffice each time they do this.

  8. crimsonwhat says:

    I work for Comcast and the memo that was sent out on Monday about this situation blames the entire thing on Big Ten Network and Big Ten Network alone. We were told that BTN made a programming switch at the last minute and didn’t notify Comcast of the changes. And goes on to say that if BTN had notified Comcast of the change then something coulde’ve been done to fix the problem.

  9. johnnya2 says:

    As a DirectV subscriber I have had the BTN since its inception AND can view any of the games they broadcast. Seems to me a much better deal.

  10. danegerous_21 says:

    i work for FSN operations, which the BTN is operated through. and i can testify, comcast is a affiliate. we at the operations center control what happens on BTN. i can believe what crimsonwhat said. something on our end hass to change first before it changes out there.since Friday we have had multiple game changes at the last minute. must have been a change up in the main big ten room and the alternate room used for broadcasting.

  11. Jerim says:

    This isn’t really Comcast’s fault. These conference television deals usually include a clause where the conference itself can decide the television markets for games. I can’t even listen to my local college football games on the internet radio station, because the SEC forbids it. While I can listen to the game on the radio, the online radio stream does re-runs of the local morning crew. Bashing Comcast won’t get you anywhere. Talk to the director of programming for the Big Ten and ask them why you couldn’t see the game.