Mediacom blackout may begin to affect Cyclone fans


Liz Parke

Iowa State Head Coach Matt Campbell looks at his play sheet in the 2020 Dr. Pepper Big 12 Football Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Iowa State lost 27-21.

Andrew Harrington

Television companies Mediacom and TEGNA have not reached a new agreement, causing Mediacom blackouts on many stations that are owned by TEGNA. This could pose a problem for many Mediacom users that are interested in watching the football game between Iowa State and Iowa on Sept. 11.

To recap, on the final day of 2020, the contract between these two companies came to an end with a future contract still in question. Both of these companies have not met at a price point, and frustrations are mounting. This dispute has caused blackouts to WOI and WQAD, which are stations that are partnered with ABC in Iowa. This affects a large portion of Iowans, including people from the Davenport and Des Moines areas. If the sides fail to come to an agreement, Mediacom buyers in the previous areas will not be able to watch Iowa State take on Iowa, as it will air on ABC.

The 2021 Cy-Hawk game has been predicted to be one of, if not the most, hyped-up game between the teams of all time. The Cyclones are coming off a 9-3 record with an appearance in the Big 12 Championship, and Iowa also finished at 16 in the AP poll. It is fair to say that if the blackouts are removed, there would be a very high viewership of the game.

Not only would the game being blacked out be a bad thing for the fans that would miss the game, but it could also stunt the growth of college football in Iowa. As this game gathers anticipation, it gives both schools a chance to showcase their abilities. Cutting this off from a chunk of the Iowan population is a bad thing for the fans, players and schools.

With only around three months remaining before the game takes place, the two sides will need to begin compromising in the near future. Mediacom and TEGNA have both continually stood their ground, stating the other side would need to change their asking price for an agreement to be made.

However, there is some hope for the worried fans, as TEGNA has solved these contractual disputes in recent history. TEGNA has blocked their channels on Dish Network in both 2015 and 2018, but the two sides reached agreements after a brief period on both occasions. TEGNA again found themselves at a standstill during December 2020, this time with DirectTV. The businesses were able to reach an agreement 19 days into the blackout, and the stations went back on air.

If you were planning on watching Iowa State on ABC through Mediacom, that may not be the reality. There is currently no timeline for Mediacom and TEGNA to reach an agreement.