BTN Kicks Boilers Back Into the Basement

BTN Kicks Boilers Back Into the Basement


Illustration by William V. Cigliano You know, it's one thing for the crappy network to decide not to televise Purdue's exhibition's quite another for pre-conference home games not to be televised.

I've been beating this drum on Twitter and directed my comments squarely at the interns running the network's twitter feed...and they've noticed. Good. I hope they're reading this post too. The majority of Purdue's fanbase, a group that represents a large chunk of the Indianapolis and Chicago TV markets are pissed off. We've been lied to...we've been pawns in revenue game...the network won...the alums lost.

Years ago, when BTN was a fledgling network that had Barbasol and Rotel as almost its sole sponsors, the network needed us. On local sports radio stations in many markets, promises were made by the network. If we as fans could convince ATT and Comcast to carry BTN, the network would carry all home basketball games, as well as other content that would amaze and delight us. Unprecedented coverage for our Boilers...and I, like many of you, put pressure on my cable provider by calling them and demanding the network...then, finally leaving.

Shortly after I left that provider, BTN was picked up. I blamed the provider for not listening to its consumers in a timely manner. I was happy to have made the change...I no longer had to go to a bar to watch Purdue play on TV; I could drink watch in the comfort of my home...BTN kept its promise for a few years before they started hedging.

With Hummel, Moore and Johnson on the roster, Purdue was a priority to BTN. The Forces of Good were on TV a lot in the pre-conference...If BTN didn't have the game, EsPN would. But with Moore and Johnson's departure, so went BTN's promise. Hummel's Senior season was the first one in which I noted that Purdue was no longer on TV for all home games. This precedent continues today.

Last night Purdue thrashed a bad Grambling team...or so I'm told. I've been traveling during the last week on business. Earlier in my trip, Purdue played another pre-con game that wasn't BTN+ PAID subscription didn't allow me to watch that one either. Instead, I got a blue screen that said "BTN2Go".

It's one thing to get duped into giving a lying network additional funds atop what they already get from me each month via my cable's another to pay for a guaranteed service and not have that work. Worse still, I can't figure out how to cancel  my subscription...So when Purdue starts playing opponents that the network is interested in televising (read as any new addition to the conference, any top-tier program from last season, and IU), Purdue will actually be on my television...Yet I'll still be flushing $10/month.

It stinks that Purdue hasn't been good at basketball for the last two seasons...YET, you and I still want to watch our Boilers play the sport for some reason. If you're like me, and you're in the Indy or Chicago area, you're not too far from God's country, so you still try to get to a few games every season. But you still don't get to see every game because of programming decisions by the lousy Fox-owned entity.

The problem that I have as a consumer, is that my options are gone. Check that- I can listen to the games as long as I'm in Central Indiana and licensing rules aren't blocking my effort to listen via internet away from home. If you're outside of Indiana, you're pretty much screwed- relegated to EsPN gamecast or play-by-play via Twitter feed.

BTN's consolation has been re-airing the games at odd times...if they don't have a Womens' Sports Report, week-old "Journey" episode or Ohio State classic game to air. TONIGHT we get to watch Purdue at 10:30...Twenty-seven and one-half hours after the tip-off actually occurred. When we do, we'll get treated to BTN's developmental squad. And let's be honest, their A teams stink.

Hey, if you're one of the kids trying to get into the business and BTN's webcast games are the best work you can get- good luck to you; I hope you succeed. BUT, last night, I'm told that the girl doing the game had no attachment to Purdue. Is BTN telling me that they can't find two Purdue students interested in play-by-play work to run the Boiler games? Bullshit. But hey, this network lies...a documented ways. So this is congruent.

J has written ad nauseam about how we've developed a complex about media coverage for our Boilers...and we do. But it's really not a complex when it's plain truth. Another team in this very state missed the post season last year...YET at least one of their exhibition games was televised...with non-volunteer staffing on the BTN.

This isn't a Crean team loaded with future NBA draft picks that's ranked highly and will disappoint in March. This is a team that will do its disappointing much earlier...yet, they're higher priority to the network. My guess is it's about that school owning the Indianapolis TV market.

So it's time for BTN to just come clean- Their sham of a network, their marketing push to get on the network on your LED screen has nothing to do with the conference, but everything to do with a third of that conference. Sadly, they haven't blessed our Boilers as a priority for their programing.

We've been contacted by two different members of the BTN staff as they try to get us to be quiet or calm down- I'll bypass those conversations now and tell them how to get me to stop publicly complaining on Twitter and on this site:

Start acting like Purdue is more than just a filler in the conference. Start living up to promises. In other words, let reality match your marketing...or just stop bullshitting everyone- Apologize for the lies and call it just another sports programming network. Not the network of the Big Ten Conference.

For the record- we understand Purdue has been pretty bad at sports the last few years. Believe me, as a few guys who have ruined nearly every weekend during the Purdue basketball and football seasons during the last two or three years, we know too well that the product has made the BTN programming directors' decisions easy.

All of that said, as die-hards, we pay for our cable too...and mopes like me even pay extra for additional programming, because we're sadists. But, we're pain-loving morons with money to spend...BTN does understand when people speak with not only their Twitter feed, but also, their wallets. It seems to me, we're nearing a time as Purdue fans, that we can join those who have cut the cord from cable all together. I've used the BTN as a crutch as to why I've kept paying my cable bill for the last few years. That excuse is nearly null and void.

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