Indiana state rep proposes arbitration for BTN

  • 11/20/2007 12:26 pm in

scott-reske.jpgI’ve recently solved my Big Ten Network and HDTV absences, and I’m looking forward to enjoying tonight’s game in the blue-green glow of my living room for the first time. But what of you who still can’t get the Big Ten Network on your local cable? Comcast and Insight are still no closer to dealing with the BTN than a month ago, and thousands of viewers are thus left packing bars or switching to to dish services, same as before.

I bring this up not to rub it in your face — I would never do that! — but to point out that someone in power cares too. A story in today’s Star notes that state representative Scott Reske plans to introduce legislation which might force cable companies to accept arbitration somewhere down the line:

“People are frustrated because they don’t have input on their programming,” Rep. Scott Reske, D-Pendleton said. “There needs to be some way of arbitrating this. That’s what I’m proposing — not to dictate anything, but to resolve this. People are demanding it.”

Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said he’s sympathetic with fans who are missing games but disagrees with government intervention. Long said he wants to “let the free market operate.”
“It will benefit consumers more than if we try to control everything,” Long said.

Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, who teaches telecommunications policy at Indiana University, is skeptical about the legislature’s power in this situation.

“All these issues are basically under the purview of congress and the FCC,” Pierce said. “As much as legislators would like their constituents to know we care, the fact is we don’t have power to do much about it.”

While a nice thought, Reske’s proposed legislation is not only sort of feckless in and of itself — If you don’t do what we say, we’ll … um … make you keeping talking to each other? Yeah! — but the legislature likely has little power in this arena anyway.

So Reske scores a few cheap political points of the “I feel your pain” vein, while a majority of viewers remain left in the same predicament as before: Dish Network, DirecTV, a milieu of regional cable networks, or no IU basketball. Choose wisely, ITH-ers: your dollars are your votes. Milton Friedman would be proud.

Filed to:

  • kelin

    I think this entire thing is stupid BUT I can understand both sides. I have all but chalked it up that I will miss a bunch of games this year…the good is it isn’ t the big games like PU, KY, etc. but nevertheless I will have to make more trips to B-town….and chicago!

  • kelin

    I think this entire thing is stupid BUT I can understand both sides. I have all but chalked it up that I will miss a bunch of games this year…the good is it isn’ t the big games like PU, KY, etc. but nevertheless I will have to make more trips to B-town….and chicago!

  • Gary Clipp

    Inside the Hall you are beginning to sound . . . .

  • Gary Clipp

    Inside the Hall you are beginning to sound . . . .

  • Zappatista

    I just wish i lived about 1000 feet closer to the ATT fiber optic center so i could get U-verse…….but you know i always need an excuse to go to Moe and Johnnies…..

  • Zappatista

    I just wish i lived about 1000 feet closer to the ATT fiber optic center so i could get U-verse…….but you know i always need an excuse to go to Moe and Johnnies…..

  • kelin

    Can’t get Uverse either, not in my area. I really sucks that these cable companies in some instances have you handcuffed to them when you have no other options.

  • kelin

    Can’t get Uverse either, not in my area. I really sucks that these cable companies in some instances have you handcuffed to them when you have no other options.

  • Hoosier Hound

    Long said he wants to “let the free market operate.”

    What free market? This is cable, they have monopolies wherever they operate. Its obvious there is really high demand for the Big Ten Network. No other channel has ever cause this much stir. Why else is Comcast/Insight spending money to run commercials to tell people they shouldn’t want the Big Ten Network? They aren’t anti-campaigning HGTV. I can’t get satelite, so I’m kind of screwed. But every time I see those hypocritical load of bull commercials about how, “Cable competes, you win,” I have to convince myself not to cancel my cable right then and there.

    If the free market was really operating in this regard, we’d all be able to choose what channels we wanted. Instead, the FCC and local governments protect cable companies by giving the monopolies and they cohort together to rip everyone off. Bunch of bullshit.

  • Hoosier Hound

    Long said he wants to “let the free market operate.”

    What free market? This is cable, they have monopolies wherever they operate. Its obvious there is really high demand for the Big Ten Network. No other channel has ever cause this much stir. Why else is Comcast/Insight spending money to run commercials to tell people they shouldn’t want the Big Ten Network? They aren’t anti-campaigning HGTV. I can’t get satelite, so I’m kind of screwed. But every time I see those hypocritical load of bull commercials about how, “Cable competes, you win,” I have to convince myself not to cancel my cable right then and there.

    If the free market was really operating in this regard, we’d all be able to choose what channels we wanted. Instead, the FCC and local governments protect cable companies by giving the monopolies and they cohort together to rip everyone off. Bunch of bullshit.

  • MikeyD

    I remember the good ole days when all you need was a damn tv and a set of rabbit ears. WTTV ch. 4 at my Grandpa’s house south of Columbus. Now I live out of state and think the ESPN Plus days weren’t so bad either. Now I can’t get any of it…just the few games on ESPN/2 and CBS, COOL!

    I agree with Hoosier Hound and have long wished to choose (AND PAY FOR) only the channels (menu selection) I want. I’d only need/want 10-12 or less. Certainly not 4 shopping channels, etc…you get the picture (funny…pun)

  • MikeyD

    I remember the good ole days when all you need was a damn tv and a set of rabbit ears. WTTV ch. 4 at my Grandpa’s house south of Columbus. Now I live out of state and think the ESPN Plus days weren’t so bad either. Now I can’t get any of it…just the few games on ESPN/2 and CBS, COOL!

    I agree with Hoosier Hound and have long wished to choose (AND PAY FOR) only the channels (menu selection) I want. I’d only need/want 10-12 or less. Certainly not 4 shopping channels, etc…you get the picture (funny…pun)

  • Eddie

    Why is it I pay Indiana taxes to support the Indian colleges but can’t see the ball games?
    Also, I’ve always heard exposure on TV is what helps recruting. So, I wonder if Big Ten is cutting their own throats. If kids (future players) across the country can’t see Big Ten games as well, will they want to play for these schools?
    Comcast is not the real problem. Big Ten Greed is the problem.

  • Eddie

    Why is it I pay Indiana taxes to support the Indian colleges but can’t see the ball games?
    Also, I’ve always heard exposure on TV is what helps recruting. So, I wonder if Big Ten is cutting their own throats. If kids (future players) across the country can’t see Big Ten games as well, will they want to play for these schools?
    Comcast is not the real problem. Big Ten Greed is the problem.

  • slojoe

    MIKEYD, I remember the good old days when I could actually turn my TV set on! Now there are so many gadgets, buttons, etc. that it’s difficult to figure that out, but now that I’ve figured it out I can’t get most IU games. Oh for the good old days.

  • slojoe

    MIKEYD, I remember the good old days when I could actually turn my TV set on! Now there are so many gadgets, buttons, etc. that it’s difficult to figure that out, but now that I’ve figured it out I can’t get most IU games. Oh for the good old days.