PSU fans with Comcast could miss games
With the start of the college football season just more than a month away, a dispute may cause Comcast customers to miss out on watching Penn State games.
The Nittany Lions will open the 2018 season against Appalachian State at Beaver Stadium. The game is to be televised on the Big Ten Network.
However, according to Pennlive.com, FOX Sports National Networks and BTN President Mark Silverman spent much of his time on stage at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago on Tuesday speaking about Comcast, “the primary cable provider” inside of the Big Ten’s footprint.
A continued dispute could leave conference games off Comcast airwaves this fall, and the cable giant could drop BTN.
According to Pennlive.com, news broke in April that Comcast would drop the Big Ten Network from its channel lineups in states without a conference team.
Silverman posted on Tuesday that he feared it could be the start of something worse for Big Ten football fans as BTN’s 10-year contract with Comcast expires on Aug. 31, and no new deal has been signed.
If BTN and Comcast can’t reach a deal, the station could, and likely would, be dropped from Comcast’s lineup. Conference games on FS1 could be in limbo, too, even if the cable provider still carries the channel, according to Pennlive.com.
“In addition to the BTN agreement expiring, so is the agreement for all Big Ten games that air on FS1. BTN and FS1 have made proposal(s) to Comcast dating back to February, and we’ve had no substantive response at all,” Silverman said.
“As a result, we believe BTN and those Big Ten games that are on FS1 are in danger of not being carried on Comcast this coming season. So we are letting people know this to alert Comcast subscribers of this real possibility they may lose these games.”
According to Comcast spokesman Bob Grove, talks are continuing, Pennlive.com said.
“Comcast’s agreements with content providers, like the Big Ten Network, expire from time to time. We are communicating with the Big Ten Network about continuing to carry it after Aug. 31 and look forward to productive negotiations,”Grove said in an email.
Penn State is scheduled to play Appalachian State on Big Ten Network, while its games against Kent State and Illinois are scheduled for Fox Sports 1.
“All of our fan base who are Comcast subscribers (need) to let Comcast know how they feel about that,” Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said in a statement. “I think Aug. 31 is the drop dead (date for Comcast to drop BTN and FS1), so there is certainly time for them to let their feelings know, and I’m sure that Comcast cares about their subscribers and cares about having subscribers and keeping them.”