Izzo speaks out on Big Ten Network


This is how the BTN makes Tom Izzo feelSome of you may have seen this story already, but if you haven’t, it’s interesting to see that Tom Izzo has spoken out about his frustration with the Big Ten Network.

During the Big Ten season, I’ve heard from quite a few IU fans about their growing disappointment with not being able to watch a number of IU’s games on cable. But this is the first time I’ve heard of anyone involved with the Big Ten acknowledging candidly that the current situation is a major problem.

One of the things I hear other reporters say they like about Izzo is that he’ll tell you what he really thinks. That seems to be the case here. The Associated Press reported Tuesday night that Izzo has tried to spout the company line about the BTN, but a flood of letters and calls from frustrated fans has been too much.

“I think it has been a PR nightmare,” Izzo said. “And I think it has hurt all of us.”

Izzo, according to the story, said he has empathy for the fans who are fed up.

“We have so many things right now that we’re trying to fight — the price of tickets, the economy of our state — and then we throw this at them,” Izzo said. “I make more calls than I ever have this year to people that write to me, really upset about it. I have an older woman coming to practice (Tuesday) that I invited just because of that. It bothers me.

“Five years from now, if cable companies pick it up, does it end up better than it was and we’re just going through a bad time?” he asked. “I just don’t like the bad time being on my dime.”

To read the entire story, click here.

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8 comments:

  • Brent #1


    Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 8:03 PM EST

    I think that in order for there to be any movement on this with the big cable companies, those with other options need to vote with their wallets. I can say that I’ve enjoyed the Big Ten Network since switching to AT&T U-Verse in early January. Obviously, not everybody is in an area that can receive U-Verse or satellite, but the more people who do live in those areas switch, the more likely it is that Comcast will make an agreement.

  • Ben Fulton #2


    Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 8:53 PM EST

    Not interested in Comcast. Waiting to be able to stream the live video from the web :)

  • kurk81 #3


    Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 9:34 PM EST

    Dirty pool, Izzo. On the eve of a big game against our team, you go and do something that makes me think you’re the only coach or administrator in the B10 with the huevos to tell the truth about the abomination that is the BTN. In our area (Tippecanoe Co.) satellite isn’t an option – no Indy or local stations, no NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, or PBS so you have to get satellite AND cable if you want BTN. I couldn’t care less about Purdue, but here in their home county, their fans have had almost no chance to see them because ESPN and CBS have no interest in them (who would?) The BTN is a joke and I wish someone other than Izzo gave a s*** about fans. By the way, all the complaints about Greenspan and Herbert and the way they handled the Sampson affair – let’s not forget they’re the two clowns from IU that had to sign off on the BTN. If they’re going to fall for THAT get-rich-quick scheme, I’ve got a friend who’s a Nigerian prince who needs their bank account numbers so he can park his millions if they’re interested.

  • johnnycee #4


    Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 10:30 PM EST

    i live in michigan and know a fair number of folks, but only ONE GUY who has the big ten network.

    the big ten network has lied about everything else, so they’re probably lying when they say a million michiganders have the BTN. i can’t believe that — not with our economy up here.

    the only ones happy with the situation between BTN and comcast are the sports bars who can lure people in to buy beer and bar food with the promise of the big ten on the big screen.

    what is weird and unfair is that my son in washington dc (digital cable) and brother-in-law in sacramento (direct tv) both have the big ten network and see all the iu games not on espn or another major network, while we in indiana and michigan do not have it unless we have direct tv.

  • Smokey #5


    Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 6:27 AM EST

    I get the Big Ten Network. In my opinion the production quality and on air personalities tend to rival a high school media class production. To me the only value is being able to watch a game with the sound off.

  • Randy M. #6


    Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 9:00 AM EST

    I live in evansvile In. where we get the big ten on insight and sigecom.And I agree with Smokey having to put up with Gene Keady always boasting purdue , I`m also forced to watch games on mute.

  • Patrick #7


    Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 2:36 PM EST

    God, I had to go to the Gin Mill (Michigan State bar in Chicago) and sit through a Michigan State pub crawl so that I could watch the IU vs. Northwestern game on Saturday. The IU bars were too crowded (love to see that) and it was the closest place. I have never hated BTN more in my life. Do you guys realize how awful Michigan State Alumni are? Seriously!

    I definitely hate the big ten network, and I am glad to see someone (even if he is at Michigan State) stand up for the fans.

  • Swampy #8


    Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 3:41 PM EST

    The BTN broadcasts are NO worse than the ESPN Plus broadcasts were. They actually had Anthony Calhoun call one of last year’s early-season games. There’s a reason that guy does local highlights on WISHTV. Before that, we had, what, Laz & Kitch? Mr. Laskowski is a great guy, but I’m frequently underwhelmed by his play-by-play. Don’t get me started on Ted Kitchel’s stupid a**. As my grandpa once said, “That guy was a little punk when he was in school, and he’s a little punk now. I wouldn’t pee on him if he were on fire. I’d wait until someone else put him out first.”

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