Dish Drops Big Ten Network Ahead of Iowa-UNI Game
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Big Ten Network's agreement with DISH Network has fallen through, leaving football fans with the satellite TV service in the lurch ahead of Saturday's game pitting Iowa and Northern Iowa.
Elizabeth Conlisk, BTN's vice president for communications and university relations tweeted the news shortly after midnight Saturday:
"As of September 14th, BTN's distribution agreement with Dish expired despite our best efforts to finalize an agreement. We are disappointed that Dish does not see the value in the network in the same way that so many of their customers do, including Big Ten students, alumni, fans and viewers across the country who continue to pay Dish for a channel they no longer receive."
In a release on their website, BTN is saying DISH dropped the channel on Friday after attempts to reach a deal fell through.
"(DISH) continued to insist on preferential treatment by demanding better terms than our agreements with their competitors," the release said.
University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta also weighed in Saturday morning with a prepared statement:
"I was extremely disappointed to learn this morning that an agreement had not been finalized. To be clear, the Big Ten Network is producing live coverage of today's football game at historic Kinnick Stadium and seven other games featuring Big Ten teams, and is making all eight of these games available to millions of fans via hundreds of television providers across the country including, in the state of Iowa, Mediacom, Direct TV, and dozens of other cable television providers.
"The University of Iowa does not have a seat at the negotiation table. We do completely support BTN's efforts and know that an agreement is possible because BTN has successfully reached agreements with all major television providers in the Big Ten geographic footprint except one: Dish Network.
"BTN is currently celebrating its five-year anniversary and has firmly established itself as one of the leading sports television networks in the country."
-- The Wisconsin State Journal contributed to this report
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