Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard responded to criticism of the Cyclones’ contest against the Texas Longhorns being put on Cyclones.tv.
Bobby La Geese of the Ames Tribune broke everything down last night. As a reminder, the Big 12 gives one game to every school to do what they please with. Some schools still go with the old tradition of putting it on FOX Sports PPV — Oklahoma might be the only one that still does this. Iowa State used to. Other schools did too, but generally they’ll put them on FOX Sports regional networks for free.
Now, Iowa State will always put that one game — generally, the least anticipated matchup on the schedule — on Cyclones.tv. It is what it is, that’s the agreement, and if it’s extremely rare for any TV network to want to show Iowa State facing off against an FCS team or a lower-level FBS opponent. The only reason FOX Sports 1 is showing the Cyclones take on North Dakota State is, well, they’re North Dakota State.
It’s a better deal than what Cyclones fans used to be stuck with — just Mediacom. Oy vey.
But now, Iowa State is putting two games — back-to-back and in the middle of the season — on Cyclones.tv. After criticism went rampant yesterday, including from yours truly, Pollard continued to defend the situation. Here are the quotes from the Ames Tribune article:
“We didn’t view this as a right of refusal,” Pollard said. “We viewed it as something we wanted to do.”
“That is part of growing the brand,” Pollard said. “I want them to do that. If watching the game isn’t worth $10 do they really want to watch it?”
Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register puts some numbers behind it. Less than 38 percent of people in Iowa subscribe to Mediacom. The only other way to watch it in Iowa is with Dish Network. It’s no secret that lots of people had DirecTV, although they didn’t release how many Iowans subscribe to their service.
Pollard had more to say in that article.
“There’s always fallout,” Pollard said. “I hear about it when our basketball games are on ESPN, because some fans want to have them on channel 5. The same thing with ESPNU.
“The world has changed.”
We’ll have reaction to Pollard’s comments shortly.