Big Ten football fans hoping to watch games on the satellite service Dish Network today — including the Iowa-Northern Iowa and Illinois-Charleston Southern games — are being left with a blank screen.
Unable to finalize an agreement with the Big Ten Network, the satellite service pulled BTN from its lineup of channels early this morning.
Iowa-Northern Iowa’s kickoff is at 2:30 p.m., and Illinois-Charleston Southern is set to go at 11 a.m.
The companies previously had reached temporary agreements that allowed distribution of the network to continue through the first two weeks of the football season, but one week after announcing that a deal had been agreed to efforts to finalize the contract collapsed.
“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,’’ Elizabeth Conlisk, BTN vice president of communications said in an email.
Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta issued a statement expressing disappointment that an agreement couldn’t be reached, given that the network was scheduled to air eight games today and is scheduled to televise at least three of the Hawkeyes’ next four games in addition to the UNI game.
“The University of Iowa does not have a seat at the negotiation table,’’ Barta said. “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.’’
Subscribers of Mediacom and DirecTV are not affected by the situation.