Blog Archive

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Big Blue and Green

Are you a fan of University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball? Do you know, or live with such a person? If so, please read this. Make your similarly afflicted acquaintance read it. Post it on the refrigerator or wrap it around the remote control. Do everything you can to help us get the word out on this, because, well it is that time of year again.

November should be a happy month. There are still a few brightly colored leaves hanging in trees, but most of them are deposited beautifully on the ground. A refreshing coolness has replaced the blast-furnace air of the summer. There is still left over Halloween candy around the house, and plans for visiting with friends and family over Thanksgiving dinner are well underway. So why are we feeling sort of blue here at the EPB? Well, it is time for all UK fans to speak ill of us because of our decision not to pay the ransom that a network call Fox Sports Net South (FSNS) demands to allow us to carry their network and the five UK basketball games they have exclusive rights to. This is not fun for us. Rather it is like going on a vegetarian diet or jogging every day - while it is good for you (and we know this decision is good for the local economy), it is a mortal pain in the posterior.

Of course, this time it was really not we that made this decision. Back a few months ago, we went to a lot of trouble to create a survey of all of our customers. We asked everyone to vote on whether they thought we should add FSNS and/or The Disney Channel if the additions would result in a $1 per month rate increase for everyone for each of the channels added. We ran the survey for two months. We used every known method (short of hiring a sky-writer) to inform everyone in town of our interest in their opinion. Of the 7,500 homes and businesses we serve, about 1,000 votes were ultimately cast. Of those 1,000 votes, about 300 voted to add FSNS. A similar number voted to add The Disney Channel, but more than 400 told us to add no new channels and keep rates as low as possible. To tell the truth, the voting was closer than we anticipated, but since we put it to a vote, we felt compelled to honor the majority’s wish. So, we again told FSNS to go away.

In our hearts, we know this is best for our community’s economy. Both these channels simply charge too much for their products. They deserve to be told no. However, they think that by sprinkling in a few UK basketball games against power house opponents like Liberty and Stony Brook (the fighting Stony Brook Sea Wolves were 9-20 last year!), they can whip you into a frenzy that results in us paying them $100,000 per year for the next seven years so you can watch UK duke it out (sorry about that expression) with five Cupcake U teams. It seems silly and laughable, but, as we all know around the EPB, their plan has worked well for some of our customers. Still, everyone in the community will benefit from the $100,000 per year that will stay in the local economy instead of getting sent off to the greedy folks at FSNS.

So, just to make this newsletter suitable for affixing to the refrigerator, here are the details on the games which will not be widely available to everyone with basic cable.
Wed. Oct. 31 - UK vs. Pikeville College. This is an exhibition game in which UK will take on the fighting Bears from Pikeville College (just a few years ago they called it Pikeville Community College). This will be on FSNS live and it will be on Big Blue Sports Network (BBSN) at 6 p.m. You will be able to watch it on WBKO at 6 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 3 - UK vs. Seattle. This is another exhibition game. Same as above, it will be live on FSNS and BBSN. So, it will be on WBKO-14 (their Fox station which is on our channel 14), and they are saying they will carry it live.
Tue. Nov. 6 - UK vs. Central Arkansas.
This game is part of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic. It will be on ESPNU live. Here is the great news. We do carry ESPNU on our digital tier. Get digital before Nov. 6 and you will see this game on EPB cable!
Wed. Nov. 7 - UK vs. Ala. A&M or Gardner Webb. This is another game in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic. Again, we will carry it on ESPNU and you will see it if you have our digital tier.
Wed. Nov. 21 - UK vs. Liberty. Liberty University is in Lynchburg, VA. Their basketball team is called “The Flames.” This game will be exclusive to FSNS. We will not have it on our system. I have no further comment about The Flames.
Sat. Nov. 24 - UK vs. Texas Southern. The Texas Southern Tigers will come to Rupp Arena on Nov. 24. Their team website lists no coaching staff. It also does not list any basketball schedule. This highly competitive contest will also be on FSNS exclusively so it will not appear on EPB cable. If Coach Gillispie had a wife, she would not even attend this game.
Tue. Nov. 27 - UK vs. Stony Brook. Stony Brook? No, this is not a hip new restaurant. Stony Brook is a university and a town in New York. Their team is “The Seawolves.” This game will appear exclusively on FSNS and thus will not be seen on our system. However, Dancing with the Stars will be on and will likely be more exciting.
Sat. Dec. 22 - UK vs. Tennessee Tech. The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles are in the OVC. Actually, this might be a decent game and I wish we had it, but, alas, it is exclusive to FSNS and we will not have this game on our system.
Mon. Dec. 31 - UK vs. Florida International. It is the last day of 2007 and this will blissfully be the last UK game this season which will be exclusive to FSNS. You will not be able to see UK take on the Florida International Golden Panthers on our system.

After the first of 2008, there are 17 more UK games that will appear on our system. Then there is the SEC tournament followed by March Madness. Almost all of these games will not only appear on our system, but they will appear in High Definition! So, if you want to see the very best UK basketball games and if you want to see them in HD, then the Glasgow EPB is the only place in town to get your UK basketball fix. However, there will be five games (if you can call them games) that we will not carry due to their unholy alliance with FSNS. During those games you will have the pleasure of knowing that you are a part of contributing an additional $100,000 this year to the economy of Glasgow. I hope that eases your pain just a little.