Many Iowa football fans may not be able to watch their Hawkeyes take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Orange Bowl, thanks to a rekindled feud between Mediacom Cable—Iowa's largest cable provider—and Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Finger pointing has already begun throughout the blogosphere , but attempting to determine which corporate beast to slay won't get us anywhere.
In reality, both sides are guilty of tampering with the hearts of Iowans.
Sinclair Broadcast Group isn't exactly the organization to turn to for a lesson in business ethics.
Mediacom has already jabbed that Sinclair is using the Orange Bowl as unfair leverage in the fight for network programming rights.
Though Sinclair representatives would vehemently deny that they are toying with Hawkeye fans to get Mediacom to break under pressure, they would do so with fingers crossed.
They know exactly how valuable a bargaining chip the Orange Bowl is.
But don't fool yourself by thinking Mediacom is free of guilt in the matter.
The company is a virtual cable TV monopoly in the state of Iowa. If the prices of cable packages are any evidence, they know they have little to no real competition in Iowa—other than satellite TV companies.
For Mediacom to play the role of the little guys' representative is a miserable ploy to get Iowans on their side of the disagreement.
Here's an idea:
Why doesn't Mediacom actually step up, take one for the little guy, and suffer the blow from the increased fees and not raise customer prices any further?
Mediacom's likely answer: not in a million years.
On the other hand, if Iowans decide to go the route of choosing a different TV provider they'll be playing into the hands of Sinclair, according the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
Sinclair Vice President and General Council Barry Faber doesn't think a resolution is going to be reached before the Orange Bowl.
Faber said in an online statement that Sinclair's demands are simply a "business negotiation."
"We don't see this as an emotional issue," Faber said. "They (Mediacom) do."
Oh, Mr. Faber, Mediacom is correct to see this as an emotional issue.
Know who else sees it as an emotional issue?
Loyal Iowa Hawkeye fans who just want to watch our team fight for an Orange Bowl BCS victory and national recognition.