The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

December 1, 2006

Big Ten Network Ready For A Fight

Big Ten watches NFL as it readies network

But if the NFL Network’s experience is any indication, the Big Ten’s new 24-hour channel might need to enlist its fans for some arm-twisting of cable companies to see games they’ve had easy access to in the past.

While the Big Ten’s best games will still be on CBS, ABC or ESPN, the rest will be televised only by the Big Ten Network. In 2007-08, that will include 35 football games and 105 men’s basketball games.

The Big Ten said it made that decision in part because, with costs rising for college sports, it will guarantee each school an extra $7.5 million annually.

But if a cable company doesn’t carry the Big Ten Network, the fan who wants to watch, say, an Indiana-Northwestern basketball game is either shut out or must switch to satellite television. That’s what is happening with the NFL Network, which is involved in a dispute with Time Warner, the nation’s second-biggest cable carrier.

When I highlighted the first news of the Big Ten Network, I was cautiously optimistic. It has the ability to be a very positive change, or it could end up making it harder for me to watch Purdue football, as the trees around my house make it impossible for me to get satellite TV.

If this network takes off, and Comcast picks it up as an affiliate, all will be well. I’ll get great Big Ten content that I don’t get now. If it stays with only DirecTV, though, I’m going to be spending a lot of fall Saturdays sitting in sports bars watching Purdue. Again, being down here in SEC country, that will entail trying to convince some bartender to devote at least one little TV, maybe in the corner, to a little ol’ school like Purdue.

But after this year, I’m not quite as concerned about this. This year, many of Purdue’s games were televised on ESPN360 (internet), ESPN Gameplan (pay per view), ESPNU (uncommon ESPN variant) or ESPN Classic (not on basic cable). I couldn’t watch a single one of those games at home. I did watch the game televised on ESPN Gameplan at a neighbor’s house, but otherwise it was off to sports bars.

So for me, I see this as either a positive thing, if Comcast picks up the network, or neutral. In the linked story, they show that the Big Ten Network will get any game not on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2, so they won’t be competing with ESPNU for broadcast rights. Now all I need to do is start emailing Comcast every other day to make sure they’ll carry it, and all will be well in the Warbiany household!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:03 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, Media, News, Purdue, Sports

1 Comment

  1. Brad,
    The Big Ten network would air all the games that currently air on ESPN Gameplan. So there would no longer be any Big Ten games on the gameplan.

    Comment by Jim — December 2, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

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