Iowa State-Minnesota bowl game blacked out
The Mediacom customers in Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes won't be able to see the Insight Bowl at home on New Year's Eve after all.
The 5 p.m. game matches Iowa State and Minnesota and is only being carried in central Iowa -- with permission from NFL Network.
WOI, the ABC affiliate serving the Des Moines and Ames TV markets is carried as a secondary ABC station, on channel 18 for the Mediacom customers in northwest Iowa. Mediacom recently learned WOI will not be able to carry the game signal to cable providers serving customers beyond its primary market.
"Areas of northwest and southwest Iowa are considered to be in the Sioux City (KCAU, channel 9) or Omaha viewing areas respectively," a statement Wednesday from Mediacom said. "Broadcast rights for the December 31 game specifically prohibit ABC5 / WOI to extend its telecasts to those areas. The prohibition includes broadcasts carried over Mediacom, as well as any other cable network."
According to the distribution rights granted to WOI by the NFL Network, "any cable system serving communities outside the (designated market area) must delete the Insight Bowl telecast from the Primary Signal of WOI-TV as delivered to the cable system's subscribers."
The areas of northwest Iowa where the game telecast is not allowed include, among others, the counties of Dickinson, Clay, Emmet, Palo Alto, Cherokee and Buena Vista.
"While we regret that the viewing area is limited to the Des Moines television market, we understand that the program owner, NFL Net, controls the retransmission rules and that we are must be in strict compliance," said Mediacom regional vice president Bill Jensen. "These are similar to blackout rules that often apply to professional sports broadcasts, and they apply to all video distributors that don't carry the sports network."
The NFL Network's direct telecast of the Insight Bowl is available on Direct TV and Dish Network.
Spencer Municipal Utilities, an alternative cable television provider in Spencer, carries NFL Network, so its customers will see Iowa State's bowl game.
NFL Network which is Channel 30 in standard definition and Channel 230 in high definition is part of our HiDef Plus package," said Amanda Paulsen, sales and marketing coordinator at Spencer Municipal Utilities. "We'll also be covering Iowa vs. Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl next week on Fox via KPTH."
The Iowa State University athletic department said the Insight Bowl coverage will be on the Cyclone Radio Network with John Walters doing play-by-play, Eric Heft providing color and Ben Bruns doing sideline reporting duties.