"When I was a kid I WAS the remote control."
If my kids had a quarter for every time they've heard that from me, they'd only have about a buck-fifty. I haven't used that one much, but on occasion I have tried to explain to my kids what it was like to watch football when I was a kid. It certainly wasn't like it is now - my hometown only got three channels and one of them was educational television. I didn't see anything on CBS until I got to Lincoln, then I was mesmerized by the Charlie Brown Christmas specials I'd never seen. My floormates in Schramm didn't understand that.
I've had a satellite dish for over 10 years now - initially got it because I was angry with at the lack of options for regional coverage through the cable provider. Ironic, now, isn't it, that I have around 200-250 channels, but the Nebraska - Kansas game will be the fourth pay-per-view game this season, and if I want to see it I'll have to shell out another $40.
Ironic, also, that my family barely watches much television anymore, or at least in the traditional sense. The concept of sitting down at 8:00 pm Thursday night to watch a scheduled program is nearly dead, having been killed by the DVR. Everything the family cares about is recorded and watched at a later time, when it's convenient. It hasn't necessarily lead to less TV watching, it just means that we can see my kids' soccer games and later come home to CSI:New York or General Hospital, or whatever it is that's been recorded.
College football is immune to the scheduling phenomenon, however. Most sporting events are still consumed live, largely due to the existence of such things as game threads here at Corn Nation, where you can share your frustration or joy with gobs of people you've never met in person who share a common rooting interest. When most everything else on TV feels scripted (even "reality" shows), sports is about the only thing left where you don't know what's going to happen until the competitors take the field.
Unfortunately, you can't watch four games simultaneously, but if you happen to miss a game, you can go back later and watch it again on ESPN3.com, on your laptop, your home computer, and as of this past week, on your Xbox if you have a Live account. (BTW, checking the Xbox/ESPN schedule shows the Nebraska - Iowa State game as an upcoming event this weekend, so if you're out of the coverage area and you have an Xbox - you should be in luck!)
The concept of internet-streamed video has become as ubiquitous as the content, and it has approved vastly within the past few years. The first few games I remember watching streamed through huskers.com were patchy, jerky, and bloody awful compared to what we're seeing now, and it will only get better as internet bandwidth increases.
There is an enormous variety to the devices sports fans can use to consume television, yet one thing has remained constant. Someone, somewhere has to create the content, and the product is only as good as their production value.
Let's face it - while it's been nice to have access to pay-per-view to watch all the games, Fox Sports' production of those games has been, ah, mediocre at best. That's one reason why Husker fans have to be excited about moving to the Big Ten Network for sports coverage next season. Big Ten Network has become enormously successful, but that's largely due to the quality and amount of content they generate.
Not only will you be able to watch all the Husker football games on television, but you'll be able to watch nearly any other sport as well. If you want to see Husker basketball, whether it's the men or women, it'll be available instead of being blacked out due to regional contract agreements. If your sport isn't available on the Big Ten Network TV channel, it may be available through their streaming service, and if that doesn't fill your fix, you can download their iPhone app, purchase a $7.99 upgrade and get access to audio and video content.
Sports content is so widely available that you won't miss a game because someone decided a fall wedding is a good idea. Imagine how many relationships that will save in the years to come!