STO: Should it stay or should it go?: John Carroll decides against removing SportsTime Ohio from on-campus cable

February 21st, 2013

Over the course of the past week, rumors had circulated about the idea of removing channels from John Carroll University’s on-campus cable circuit, one of those, including Cleveland’s own SportsTime Ohio.

STO is particularly popular to students who, year after year, dedicate themselves to Cleveland Indians baseball, rooting their hometown team to victory from April through October.

The rumor brought about a handful of complaints and discouragement from a number of students, such as sophomore Steve Henderson, who said, “I was shocked and pretty mad. I thought that it would be really unfair to take away the only option to watch Cleveland Indians games.”

This week it has been confirmed that the Office of Residence Life has chosen not to eliminate SportsTime Ohio from their campus cable plan.

Director of Residence Life Lisa Brown said, “At this point, we are not removing SportsTime Ohio from the cable line-up. SportsTime Ohio broadcasts the Cleveland Indians and some JCU games, so we know this is a channel viewed often by students.”

The idea to possibly eradicate any channels from campus televisions came into play due to a potential price increase in the cable plan. “Because of a pending cable price increase, we looked at the most expensive channels on our cable system, one of which is SportsTime Ohio,” explained Brown.

Jim Burke, the associate chief information officer who  partially works to administer all information technologies on campus, helps execute any order from Residence Life to add or remove any channel from JCU’s cable plan.

“When a channel everyone used to watch is no longer being viewed, it is sometimes switched for a more popular channel from the same package. This type of change has no impact on the cost of programming. Sometimes a program provider will demand a significant increase in the price they are charging for a specific channel. Given the popularity of STO, I can only assume the reason for this change is related to a significant price increase,” said Burke.

Before any action was taken by Residence Life to remove the channel altogether the students were able to share their insight on the idea. Brown explained further that the Res Life staff addressed the Residence Life Advisory Board, a panel of students who offer suggestions and feedback to improve campus, about the issue. It was their response that suggested SportsTime Ohio was too popular of a channel amongst students to have it taken off the cable plan.

“Based on this feedback, the cable line-up will not change this academic year,” Brown added.

With the Cleveland Indians’ opening day a little over a month away, dedicated fans can breathe a sigh of relief as their residence room televisions will still give them the ability to view every game live.

“I’m glad Residence Life decided to keep the station in rotation,” said Henderson. “We are a university in Cleveland and have a lot of students from the Cleveland area that deserve to have the ability to watch Indians games.”