Via FanHouse comes Brian Cook’s tale of inexplicable stupidity in the war between Comcast Cable and the Big Ten Network for the hearts of minds of Big Ten fans everywhere. Whatever genius PR firm Comcast currrently employs decided to get down to the nitty and do some astroturf marketing … and any fan will have a brain will see right through it. The sample message, from Michigan State’s Scout.com equivalent:
I’m a big fan of State sports so I went to the Big 10 Network’s kick-off party in East Lansing last week. Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delaney was there telling everybody how great this new TV package is going to be for college football and b-ball fans. WHAT A CROCK! Delaney is like the emperor who wore no clothes…the BTC has already sold its best games to ABC and ESPN. How delusional is Delaney and these other Big 10 greedmongers who want to charge us for the games we’d be able to see on our local cable station? If you want to learn more about the Big 10′s big time rip off, I found a web site that explains a lot… www.puttingfansfirst.org
VICTORY FOR MSU!!!
Riiiiiiight. This would be obvious just for its blatant threadjacking potential, but what really takes the cake is that these posts are all coming from brand new posters. They’ve popped up on Northwestern and Michigan’s Rivals sites, too. It’s so obvious, so poorly constructed as some marketer’s idea of a Big Ten message board troll, it’s an insult to Big Ten message board trolls everywhere.
Which brings us all back to the BTN vs. Cable debate in the first place, one on which I’m slowly beginning to side with the Big Ten Network. In a place like Chicago, or Indianapolis, or Detroit, the Big Ten Network has just as much of a right to be tacked on to basic cable the Food Network, or Home and Garden, or the Travel Channel, or any number of other small-share cable stations that raise our basic price every year. East Coast networks? Put it on a sports tier, or make people subscribe to DirecTV. But it might be time for Comcast’s midwest affiliates to shape up and give the BTN a spot on its basic system, and end the pissing contest already. Or banish Rachel Ray forever. It’s Comcast’s choice.