I'm a day late and a dollar short on the "announcement" that Comcast is almost certainly not going to make a deal with the BTN in time for the upcoming weekend. In other news:
- I mentioned the "astroturfing" campaign below. Apparently Spartan Tailgate traced the posts from "Victory4MSU20" to Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications, a Lansing, Mich. PR firm working for Comcast. The party line from agency partner David Waymire:
Posts in response flamed the Comcast effort as "Astroturf" (the term used for fake grass-roots opposition groups) and worse. David Waymire, partner in the advocacy firm, posted on SpartanTailgate within 24 hours of the criticism, apologizing for the post. He confirmed the post was from his offices but attributed them to an employee, "a legitimate Big Ten fan," who wasn't familiar with firm policies. Waymire told Multichannel News that his firm does post on blogs, "but in a transparent way," on behalf of clients. Anonymous posts "are against my agency's policy," he said. His agency was hired by Comcast to get its side of the issues known, he said, including channeling concerned fans to the Web site.I'm not so sure. If this firm believes in full disclosure, where is Comcast's name on the Putting Fans First website?
- Brian Cook, finding time to blog about the BTN when he isn't (perhaps justifiably) pimp-slapping me for my ranking of Georgia and the accompanying rationale, discusses a breathtakingly dishonest press release from Dish Network, which describes the BTN's offerings as "a few nonconference games." Brian also notes:
For all the football hissy-fitting going on right now, the Big Ten's trump card has always been dozens of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State basketball games -- virtually every game not televised nationally. Most of the football games on the BTN will feature the conference's have-nots and will probably not be must-sees for many fans; even if they are, few treks to the sports bar are not an unbearable trial. But basketball is a different animal, a religion across sections of Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan with a ton of games on days like Wednesday, when the bar is not necessarily appealing for folks looking to get up at 7AM.Very true. Bloomington is within the territory of Insight, a cable company that Comcast is purchasing. Set aside the rest of the state: can you imagine how many customers Insight/Comcast is going to lose in Bloomington?