As you probably could have guessed, we got more information Tuesday from both sides of this fight than we could possibly cram into one day’s coverage. And a lot of it we needed to sort out. I’m not saying that we’ve done that completely, but we’ve tried. So I’ve compiled a few notes:
–Â Just to be clear, there will be no games shown on Channel 4. All Big Ten games not picked up by the primary broadcasters (ABC and ESPN in football, CBS and ESPN in basketball) will only appear on the Big Ten Network.
— Big Ten games will no longer appear on ESPN’s two pay-per-view packages, Game Plan (football) or Full Court (basketball). Those were popular options for fans who lived out of the Big Ten area or the true junkies who wanted to catch games from around the conference.
— Dish Network, the popular satellite option that doesn’t have a stake in this (DirecTV has already opted to place the Big Ten Network on its basic package, mostly because it is, like 49 percent of the new network, owned by News Corp.), is not nearing a deal with the Big Ten. You know how contentious talks have been with Comcast, but it was Dish that filed a 19-page complaint with the FCC aboutÂ the new networks’ “insistence on unreasonable terms, including rates that are far above market, and its demand for nationwide carriage.”
— Lost in all this talk of business deals is an honest discussion of what, exactly, the Big Ten Network will actually be. There will be a nightly studio show, a sort of SportsCenter for the Big Ten. There is the possibility of having other studio shows — coach’s shows or interview shows with athletes, etc. — but nothing has been set yet. According to Indiana media relations director J.D. Campbell, each school will have some measure of control over their own on-campus studio and what it produces. He says hosting coach’s shows for Bill Lynch and Kelvin Sampson could happen, but nothing has been set yet.
The Big Ten will also broadcast other live events. According to men’s soccer coach Mike Freitag, three of his team’s home games will be broadcast. Those games — against UCLA in September and Ohio State and Penn State in October — have all been moved to Sunday at 3 p.m. He believes that time slot will regularly show soccer.
Ok, that’s a good bit of it. There’s more, but I’d like to understand the concerns and questions you guys have. Doug and I, since we generally receive press credentials to these games, are maybe not as concerned as the average consumer about what’s happening. And we’re also buried in mounds of information and hearing a lot of talk from both sides.
So, any questions or concerns, post ’em here. We’ll find an answer.
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