It's now officially a game week as the Nebraska-Chattanooga game is now less than a week away. Nowever, if you look at the official schedule at Huskers.com and BigTen.org, television broadcast details are still unknown. All we know is the 2:30 p.m. game time.
Well, that's not all we know. Earlier this week, Kevin Kugler of Omaha radio station KOZN-1620 AM stated that he had been assigned by the Big Ten Network to call this Saturday's game and that former Husker Ahman Green would also be part of the telecast.
So why hasn't Nebraska, the Big Ten, or BTN announced the broadcast yet? CN contacted BTN for an update last week, and we have yet to receive a response.
Since all we can do is speculate, it appears that there still are issues preventing BTN from broadcasting the game. Back in July, it was reported that the BTN was still negotiating with Cable One (Norfolk), Charter (Kearney), Cox (Omaha), and Time Warner (Lincoln, Columbus) to reach an "in-state" agreement like BTN has with cable operators in other states with Big Ten schools. On average, BTN charges providers in Big Ten territory an average of 88 cents a subscriber, but only five cents a subscriber elsewhere. If these cable systems failed to reach an in-state agreement with BTN, those cable systems would not be carrying the game.
Update to this story:
Monday 8/29 2 p.m.
A search of BTN's "GameFinder" service shows the Chattanooga at Nebraska game will be available on Cox cable channel 233. However, Cox is moving BTN to channel 80 this week. Sean Callahan of Rivals reports via Twitter that he hopes to get an official statement from Cox later this afternoon.
Monday 8/29 2:45 p.m.BTN has released their "BTN 101" feature which finally announces that BTN will broadcast the Chattanooga and Fresno State games. Cox Cable is listed as a provider as is Time Warner, Dish Network, and DirecTV. Use "Game Finder" to find the channel on your system. Cox Cable customers should double check with Cox as Cox is moving BTN to new channels.
Since then, the Nebraska athletic department has announced agreements with Cable One, Charter, and Time Warner. Cox Cable did move BTN to a basic package that requires a digital converter, but apparently has not met the Big Ten's requirements for carrying Nebraska games. And that appears to be the sticking point that is holding up the formal announcement of the BTN broadcast of the Nebraska/Chattanooga game.
Here's what I think is going to happen: Unless Cox comes to a revised agreement with BTN this week, the Nebraska/Chattanooga game will be televised on one of the BTN's alternate channels and will be blacked out on Cox Cable. Customers on DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cable One, Charter, and CenturyLink TeleChoice will have the game. The game will be produced by BTN, though it may not be branded as BTN. That so that cable companies inside of Nebraska (i.e. Cox) with pre-existing agreements with BTN can't claim rights to the Husker game. This situation isn't without precedence: Cox previously has had disagreements with other broadcasters and Husker telecasts have been in jeopardy.
Time Warner has announced that the Nebraska-Chattanooga game will be available to their Nebraska customers, so you can be assured that the game will be televised. If you have a satellite dish, DirecTV and Dish Network will have the game as well. I would expect that if you are outside of Nebraska and have BTN, you'll be able to watch the game, probably on one of the BTN "Alternate Channels". If you live inside of Nebraska, you probably should contact your cable operator to get a status update. Be careful if you are told that the game will be on BTN, because it probably won't be. BTN is scheduled to show the Illinois/Arkansas State game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and any cable operators that haven recently updated their agreements with the Big Ten Network will be showing that game instead of the Husker game.
Sounds confusing? It sure is, and hopefully this gets resolved sooner rather than later. Based on past precedence, this could go all the way to later in the week as the real negotiations may not occur until the last minute.