Open Letter to the SEC Network: #FreeBigBlueMadness

Dear SEC Network: 

Your decision not to air the University of Kentucky's Big Blue Madness this Friday night chugs ass(redacted: vulgar). That's first. Second, your decision not to allow the state's local stations to air Kentucky's Big Blue Madness is not only tone deaf, but also childish. What, exactly, do you hope to accomplish by forcing Kentucky fans to take to their computers Friday night? Outside of Louisville, Lexington and a few smaller cities like Bowling Green, Frankfort and Owensboro, how many Kentucky fans do you think have strong enough Internet connections to live stream a two-hour broadcast? I live in Louisville, and my Internet only doesn't piss me off, like, half the time. With that in mind, how many of those fans, including myself, do you expect to be happy with the quality of the broadcast? We didn't spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on our LED TVs with beautiful picture quality to cram the entire family around a 15-inch laptop or an 8-inch iPad. 

I understand your main concern has to do with paying music royalties to the various artists whose songs will be played over your airwaves. I guess, I don't know, get f#cking over it? Do you think any of the players are going to walk out to Happy Birthday, which has a notoriously high royalty fee? The Beatles? Enya? Do you not think you could, by replacing the LSU-Missouri women's volleyball game, mitigate any extra costs associated by airing the music played during Big Blue Madness by charging a (significantly) higher advertising fee for that time block? Because remember the ratings you got for our Bahamas trip--the ratings that outdrew Team USA Basketball games? Double them. 

Football season is halfway over, SEC Network. Which university's fan base do you think is going to carry you through the long, cold winter of SEC Basketball? I'm not only talking about ratings for Kentucky basketball games (most of which will be broadcast on your Papa Bear's airwaves because we're f#cking Kentucky), but also any and all original programming you have planned which will center around SEC basketball? Who will keep your advertising rates from plummeting into the Bristol snowdrifts? 

In closing, let me just say that Big Blue Madness has been on television every year since I was a kid and I flipped channels with this: 

MTV was channel 37. I loved my MTV. But more than that, I loved my Kentucky basketball because Kentucky basketball didn't replace my Nirvana videos with a society which rewards the talentless. Also, I stopped being 14. 

So, please explain how now, in 2014, when I have literally thousands of channels at my disposal, most of which I can't name and didn't ask for, I can't watch Big Blue Madness? How are you making my experience as a sports consumer better? We were here for you when you wanted to launch your network. We called, emailed and harangued our cable providers until they added you to the lineup. It's time to return the favor. 

Yours Most Respectfully, 

Eric Kaufman

P.S. As far as those music royalties go, may I offer a piece of advice from a man who knows a thing or two about making friends out of enemies?