Sioux City Hawkeye fans still waiting for Big Ten Network
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- With college football season right around the corner, Iowa Hawkeye fans continue to fight the local cable company to get Big Ten Network games on the air. Will a "Hail Mary" by a different cable provider save the season for fans?
For two years, Sioux City Hawkeye fans have had to see the game at a local bar or get that friend with a satellite dish to make room on their couch.
"257 cable operators in the United States have the Big Ten Network, 257," says Hawkeye fan Mike Rodriguez.
But, not Sioux City. Now, there's word that the Big Ten Network should come to Sioux City, eventually, through Sergeant Bluff based Long Lines.
"They have a very definite interest in providing cable TV services in Sioux City," said Sioux City financial director Bob Padmore.
Unlike current Sioux City cable provider Cable One, Long Lines carries the Big Ten Network on basic cable, but franchise laws mandate they serve the entire city.
"It would cost about 100 million dollars," Padmore said.
Meanwhile, Cable One executives say they've tried to negotiate with the Big Ten Network. There's one major sticking point.
"Programming fees go up quite a bit under the scenario that they want us to launch under," said Cable One general manager Ray Ness.
Long Lines hasn't indicated how long it will take to get established in Sioux City. But, Ness says Cable One intends to head back to the bargaining table. So, as far as this college football season goes, it seems the ball is in the Big Ten Network's court. Or would that be end zone?
Sioux City leaders have taken so many complaints from Hawkeye fans, they opened up a public discussion about the problem during today's council meeting.
Cities can't control what the cable company chooses to air. But, leaders hope that with more local athletes being recruited by Iowa, the public pressure will be great enough that Cable One will be willing to ink a deal with the Big Ten Network.