Channel leaves students in the dark

RHYAN HENSON | Multimedia Editor

The Fox Sports 1 television partnership with Big East Conference basketball has put Butler men’s and women’s basketball on more than 90 million television screens around the country. However, those who use Butler’s standard cable do not get the channel.

Students who have not purchased Bright House’s premium package have not been able to watch road games by television on campus because Fox Sports 1 is a premium channel that is not available with Bright House’s standard channel package.

Students have the option to purchase a cable box equipped with premium channels through Bright House television network, said Karla Cunningham, director of residence life.

All season long, fans have been going the extra mile in order to watch games.

“I know I can watch on my computer, but I have a 62-inch television where I cannot watch the games,” junior Jake Goodwin said.

Goodwin said he has remedied the situation by going off-campus restaurants to watch games, but going out is not always cheap.

“Going out to eat every time the game is on costs me $15 to $20,” Goodwin said

Although Butler is a Big East school, Fox owns all exclusive rights to all basketball games.

“We do not have influence over cable systems. It comes down between the cable system and FOX,” said Rick Gentile, senior associate commissioner for broadcasting for the Big East.

Butler’s TV deal with Fox provides another example to show just how much Butler basketball has grown. Five years ago, Butler paid to get on television. Today, Butler basketball is in more homes than ever before by a factor of four, athletic director Barry Collier said.

The on-campus blackout has Butler Student Affairs and Information Technology working toward a solution.

“We want to explore options for getting it right,” said Levester Johnson, vice president for student affairs.

In the long term, Student Affairs wants to get all students to buy into a package that has Fox Sports 1 built into the on-campus television package, Johnson said.

Residential Life and Student Affairs are in the process of finding out how much more the channel upgrade would cost students. They can determine how much the cost would be per student once the cost is spread between all rooms on campus, Johnson and Cunningham said.

For those students who have chosen to upgrade already, it costs them an additional $14 a month, according to www.butler.edu.

Although no plans are set in stone, the plan will most likely cost some additional money, Johnson said.

In the interim, Student Affairs is looking for a way to show games,  now via one of the premium package boxes, somewhere on campus such as the Reilly Room, Johnson said.

“If there is anything that we would want to shoot for it would be that by the time we have the Big East tournament, we will have some kind of access,” Johnson said.

Goodwin has mixed feelings about the future plans.

“I would definitely be interested in watching the game on campus (at) somewhere like Hinkle,” Goodwin said. “I do not want to buy a cable box for one channel. The university should pay for it with the revenue generated from Fox.”

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