WASHINGTON — If you’re a D.C.-based Verizon Fios subscriber who last Saturday expected to watch Maryland carve up Howard for their college football season opener in crisp, pristine HD-quality television, then you were out of luck.
On Fios, Big Ten Network instead showed Ohio State vs. Bowling Green on its HD channel, while Maryland-Howard was bounced to BTN’s standard definition signal. Maryland fans, as you might imagine, found this annoying.
Dave Tucker, one of those Maryland fans, outlet his frustration on Twitter, requesting Verizon to explain its reasoning. That prompted a curious response from Verizon’s Support account:
Which prompted an even more curious response from Big Ten Network’s Help Team account:
This finger-pointing did little besides cause more confusion for fans, Dave included, who only grew more furious to the point of threatening to switch cable service providers.
The lack of clarity over the game selections deserved to be addressed for two reasons, one more obvious than the other: 1) These are paying customers who deserve at least an answer to why an out-of-town game takes precedent over the local program; 2) What if this happens again later in the season?
Big Ten Network did not respond to a request for comment. A Verizon corporate spokesperson offered this explanation:
“We carry the main Big Ten Network (BTN) game every week in HD – all other BTN games are shown on alternate channels which we broadcast in SD. BTN determines which games are televised on the main network, and which ones go to the alternate channels. This last week, the Ohio State game aired on the main network, and Maryland/Howard on alternate channels. The BTN does offer games outside of the main channel in HD and we’re working to make them available to Fios TV customers, but we don’t have a date for that at this point. We regret and apologize for the confusion caused by the @VerizonSupport tweet.”