Oh, You Want to Watch Purdue? Too bad!

We’ve hammered on this topic before, but really, the poor manner in which the BTN (@BigTenNetwork) handles so much really cannot be overstated. Tonight, the Boilers play Central Connecticut State in home game (this is important) but your only option to see it is via the Big Ten Digital Network (BTDN). Not on Big Ten Network. Tonight, Valpo and Illinois will be on, which is an improvement over volleyball or whatever else is shown on BTN when Big Ten teams have basketball games.

And get this: If you want to watch Purdue, you can’t even do it via BTN2Go! No, you have to do it via BTDN.

Okay, fine, you’re thinking… tell me more about this BTDN. And that would be fair of you to ask, since it’s not like information on it is easy to find. You have to first know that’s what you’re looking for… and then when you search for it, you learn that you can sign up for BTDN for $14.95/month or $119.95/year.

Cool! So you’re saying that on top of what I’m already paying for cable or satellite and on top of the surcharge for BTN (either as a one-off channel or as part of some “sports tier”), I can pay even more if I want to see my team play regular season games? AWESOME!

When the BTN launched, we were told that Big Ten teams playing home games in football and basketball that weren’t televised elsewhere (such as ESPN) would be available on the Big Ten Network. There are even overflow channels (not available to everyone, but available to some) but on nights like tonight, the BTN will leave those completely empty.

If these games were available online (such as on, oh, you know, BTN2Go), then I would actually be fine with it. But to charge us more is just insulting. And to “offer” the BTDN and “all it includes” is also grating. You know damn well what we want to watch 90% of the time, BTN – don’t pretend that includes field hockey.

And for those who haven’t looked ahead, four more of Purdue’s games (including tonight’s) will not be available on regular television, but will instead be online in one form or another. Central Connecticut State and Eastern Illinois will be on this same, awesome BTDN. Eastern Michigan and Maryland Eastern Shore will be available on ESPN3, which most (but again, not all) can access.

So thanks to those who make the decisions. I’m so glad we have a Big Ten Network. It solves everything.

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