When Ohio State opens its 2014 football season in Baltimore against Navy on Aug. 30, the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network, OSU announced yesterday.
For some Buckeyes fans, that will present a problem.
CBS Sports Network is not a part of most cable and satellite no-frills packages and is not available at all on the WOW cable system.
The matter is out of Ohio State’s hands.
“As host, the Naval Academy has the television rights for this contest, and their partner is CBS Sports Network,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told The Dispatch in a text message.
For customers of Time Warner Cable, which is the dominant cable or satellite provider locally, CBS Sports Network is available on the Preferred TV package, known as Digital Basic. It is not available on the Starter or Standard TV packages. Time Warner Cable spokesman Mike Hogan said that about 77 percent of its Ohio subscribers have the Preferred package.
According to the DirecTV website, CBS Sports Network is on the satellite provider’s XTRA, Ultimate and Premier packages but not on Select, Entertainment or Choice.
On the DISH Network, CBS Sports Network is carried on packages starting with America’s Top 200.
On AT&T U-Verse, the network is carried on its U300 and U450 packages, is optional on its U200 package and isn’t available on U-family or U-basic. However, a spokeswoman said that subscribers of most tiers could get CBS Sports Network by getting a sports package, which costs $10 per month.
CBS Sports Network is carried on Channel 5 on the Ohio State on-campus channel lineup.
Vice president and general manager Greg Argetsinger of WOW Ohio said that his company’s decision not to carry CBS Sports Network was a matter of cost.
“What we do is look at all programming,” Argetsinger said. “What it really comes down to is … what is the best value? … We’re looking at one game, and the value isn’t there for all of our customers.”
Asked if WOW had already gotten calls about not carrying the game, Argetsinger replied, “Not yet. But I can imagine once it gets out, (we will).”
Fees charged by cable networks to providers — which are then passed on to subscribers — is a closely held secret. The website whatyoupayforsports.com said that the monthly subscriber fee for CBS Sports Network is 19 cents. By comparison, NBC Sports Network’s subscriber fee is 31 cents and ESPN’s is $5.40, according to the website.
CBS Sports Network has more than 53 million subscribers. Its contract to carry Navy home games runs through 2017.
Ohio State also announced that its homecoming game against Rutgers on Oct. 18 will kick off at 3:30 p.m.