Regarding Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard’s comments over Iowa State-Texas on Cyclones.tv, it further shows that he doesn’t care about the fans’ ability to watch the game.
Let me be clear before people, especially those at Iowa State, consider this a hate piece: I love Jamie Pollard and I love Cyclones.tv. The Iowa State athletic director has been fantastic at his job and is clearly moving Cyclones athletics in the right direction.
However, he tends to put his foot in his mouth at times, and this was one of those moments. Especially these comments:
- “If watching the game isn’t worth $10 do they really want to watch it?”
- “There’s always fallout. 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.”
Iowa State fans already pay a hefty cable or satellite bill and would love to watch the Cyclones on their TV package. It isn’t about paying $10 to watch a game, it’s nickel-and-diming fans, especially after this same situation happened two years ago and the game was broadcast on free, over-the-air WOI-TV.
In turn, Pollard essentially says that the entire $10/month worth of Cyclones.tv is just invested in the Texas game. That’s dismissing everything good that Cyclones.tv does. They need to advertise this channel better. The only ads I see is when fans talk about some sort of marathon on Twitter.
Also, comparing this situation to men’s basketball games on ESPN/ESPNU? That’s comparing apples to oranges. Both of those channels are available on basic tier packages on both satellite services. Mediacom still puts it on a sports tier package.
ESPN is in around 100 million homes, ESPNU in over 75 million homes. People complaining about not being able to watch games on basic cable shouldn’t be lumped in to this argument. This is completely different.
By doing this, fans will start to revolt over the premium internet channel. Don’t do that — it should be used to supplement the coverage. Want to grow the brand? Don’t hold a game hostage and force fans to pony up cash to watch a football game.
Instead, have a pre and post game show for each game. Have 3-4 dudes around a desk. A good host and some former Cyclones players that can speak in front of a camera.
During the game have an interactive box score. Maybe have instant highlights. Maybe provide instant analysis. Hell, if you could work it out with FOX and ESPN, add multiple camera angles to games.
Have something that fans can do while watching the game. Everybody has a laptop/tablet/phone next to them during these games. Have them do something easy on their phone to supplement the coverage. Don’t steal a generic broadcast.
Last but not least, can we talk to the Big 12 about the dumb rule that this game is subject to the state of Iowa only? There’s a ton of alumni all over the country that would love to watch this game. Subjecting them to find the Longhorn Network and to have to listen to a biased broadcast is shameful.
ESPN should do the right thing and when a game is on the Longhorn Network, they should at least put it on ESPN3 for the whole country to see. It’s not ideal, but it’s something.
Let’s hope this is the only year we have to deal with this disaster and things are a little more available to fans in two years instead of forcing them to pull out $10 to watch a game or make it completely unwatchable for those that live in the 48 other states.