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Frequently Asked Questions
(Revised on September 10, 2009: From the BigTenNetwork.com)
Q: What kind of new programming can I expect to see on the Big Ten Network this fall?
A: We know Big Ten fans can't get enough football and the Big Ten Network is the place to get the inside scoop on every conference team this fall. As we enter our third year on the air, the network will debut four new shows, beginning in September 2009, dedicated specifically to Big Ten football. They are:
Big Ten Football: Breakdown (Tuesdays, 10 PM ET): Every week, Big Ten coaches and players review the previous week's game film, looking for the positives and the negatives. Our analysts will give fans a look at the subtle nuances of the game and what affected the teams' success.
Big Ten Football: Sites & Sounds (Wednesdays, 10 PM ET): The show includes segments from press conferences, media interviews and the games, as well as other behind-the-scenes footage, and is hosted from our Chicago studios.
Big Ten Football: Behind the Schemes (Thursdays, 10 PM ET): Our resident head coaches go head-to-head each week, breaking down film and putting together game plans for the upcoming week's games.
Big Ten Football ... & Beyond (Fridays, 10 PM ET): Our team previews the weekend's games with reports from each Big Ten stadium. The show also takes a look at key national match-ups that could impact Big Ten postseason plans.
Big Ten Tonight will continue to air this fall on Sundays and Mondays, with highlights, interviews and coverage of your favorite Olympic sports.
Q: Which football games will you carry on the Big Ten Network this fall?
A: The Big Ten Network will televise at least 40 football games, and every Big Ten team will appear on the network multiple times this fall. The kickoff times and television arrangements for primetime games and some early-season match-ups have already been announced.
For most intra-conference games, kickoff times and television arrangements are not determined until six or 12 days before game day. Our football telecast schedule will be posted here. Some Big Ten Network games will appear on ""Extra Football Game Channels,"" which are part-time channels cable or satellite systems provide and allow the network to offer multiple football games simultaneously to viewers. The availability of these channels depends on your service provider and your area. To get the channel number for the game you're looking for, please contact your video provider or use our GameFinder feature at BigTenNetwork.com.
Q: Who are the Big Ten Network's football announcers?
A: The network employs some of the top hosts, announcers and football analysts in the country, many with Big Ten and/or Midwest ties, including Northwestern graduate Dave Revsine, former Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo, former Illinois running back Howard Griffith, long-time Big Ten play-by-play announcer Wayne Larrivee, former Northwestern defensive back Chris Martin, former Ohio State linebacker and Minnesota head coach Glen Mason, Ohio native Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis and many more.
Q: How do you select which Olympic sports events (e.g. field hockey, soccer, wrestling, etc.) air on the network?
A: We are constantly evaluating what Big Ten fans want to see and viewer feedback is important to us. The network's overall programming goal is to show events that the most fans want to watch.
The programming selection process is complicated because there are many factors at work. From a scheduling perspective, most Big Ten events (in all sports) take place on weekday nights and weekends. Oftentimes, the network is already televising a different live event involving other schools or other sports. In addition, the Big Ten Network strives to be fair to all universities and to all sports. Another important aspect of the decision-making process is finding appealing matchups.
Q: Why don't you show more ice hockey?
A: Because the Big Ten does not sponsor ice hockey, there are rights issues. Big Ten teams compete in the CCHA and the WCHA, two conferences which have other television arrangements. Thus, only a few games are made available to the Big Ten Network each year. In the future, we certainly hope to add more hockey games to our broadcast schedule.
Q: Why doesn't the Big Ten Network televise every Big Ten football or men's basketball game?
A: There are several contributing factors. In college athletics, the home team or home conference holds the television rights to its events. The Big Ten Conference only holds the rights to events hosted by a Big Ten school. When a Big Ten team plays a non-conference road game, the hosting school, conference or tournament organizer holds the television rights for those games and thus decisions already have been made regarding how those games are televised.
For football, the Big Ten Conference has divided those rights among the Big Ten Network, ABC and the various ESPN networks. For basketball, the Big Ten Conference has divided those rights among the Big Ten Network, CBS and the various ESPN networks.
The Big Ten Network televises more Big Ten basketball games than any other network. The Big Ten's television partners combined to nationally televise more than 200 Big Ten men's basketball games in 2008-09. No conference had more games televised nationally than the Big Ten.
The creation of the Big Ten Network ensured that every Big Ten HOME football and men's basketball game will be televised or streamed. Overall, only a few men's basketball games were streamed to avoid conflicts with other men's basketball games and exclusive ESPN windows and even fewer (just a handful of road non-conference games) received no coverage.
FINDING THE BIG TEN NETWORK:
Q: What's the best way to find out the Big Ten Network channel number if my cable company has changed it?
A: The best way to find out the channel location of the Big Ten Network is to check your on-screen channel guide or contact your video provider. We also continue to update our Big Ten Network ChannelFinder feature on our website to reflect the latest changes as they are given to us by cable, satellite and telco providers. In most cases, you should be able to learn your new channel number by entering your zip code and service provider through ChannelFinder.
Q: Who can get the Big Ten Network?
A: The Big Ten Network has distribution agreements with AT&T U-Verse, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox (Cleveland), DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight Communications, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, RCN, Service Electric, Verizon FiOS and more than 250 cable operators across the country.
Customers of DIRECTV and DISH Network have access to the network regardless of where they live. Verizon FiOS and AT&T's U-Verse are rolling out the network across the country.
Inside the eight Big Ten states, the network is available on the expanded basic level of service with the exception of the Philadelphia area, where it is available on a digital level of service.
Outside the eight states, cable operators who carry the network can make it available on any level of service. Select markets where the network is available are listed below. If you do not see your city listed here, contact your local system office to see if there are plans to add the network. You may also enter your zip code in the ChannelFinder feature to find out if the Big Ten Network is already available in your area.
Albuquerque & Santa Fe, NM - Comcast
Atlanta - Comcast, AT&T U-Verse
Albuquerque & Santa Fe, NM - Comcast Atlanta - Comcast, AT&T U-Verse
Austin, TX - AT&T U-Verse Bakersfield, CA - Time Warner
Baltimore - Comcast, Verizon FiOS Birmingham & Tuscaloosa, AL - Comcast
Boston - Comcast, Verizon FiOS Charlotte, NC - Time Warner
Chattanoga - Comcast Colorado Springs, CO - Comcast
The Dakotas (Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Fargo/Moorehead, Bismarck - Midcontinent Dallas, TX - Time Warner, Verizon FiOS
Denver - Comcast Fort Myers/Naples, FL - Comcast
Fresno, CA - AT&T U-Verse, Comcast Greensboro, NC - Time Warner
Hartford & New Haven, CT - AT&T U-Verse, Comcast Hawaii - Time Warner
Jacksonville, FL - Comcast Kansas City - AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, Sure West Communications
Knoxville - Comcast Lexington, KY - Insight
Louisville, KY - Insight Memphis - Comcast
Miami-Fort Lauderdale - Comcast Montgomery County, MD - Comcast
Nashville - Comcast New Castle, DE - Comcast
New Jersey (statewide) - Comcast, Service Electric New York City - Comcast, Time Warner
Oakland, CA - Comcast, AT&T U-Verse Oklahoma City - AT&T U-Verse
Orlando, FL Palm Desert, CA - Time Warner
Phoenix - Orbitel Communications Portland, OR - Comcast, Verizon FiOS
Providence, RI - Comcast, Verizon FiOS Raleigh, NC - Time Warner
Salt Lake City - Comcast, All West Utah, Inc. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA - Comcast
San Diego, CA - AT&T U-Verse San Antonio, TX - AT&T U-Verse
Seattle-Tacoma - Comcast San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA - AT&T U-Verse, Comcast
South Carolina (statewide) - Time Warner Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, FL - Time Warner, Comcast
Virginia Beach, VA - Verizon FiOS Washington, D.C. - Comcast
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL - AT&T U-Verse, Comcast Wichita, KS - AT&T U-Verse
Q: What are "Extra Football Game Channels?"
A: "Extra Football Game Channels" are part-time channels that the Big Ten Network provides to cable, satellite and telco systems which allow the network to offer multiple football games simultaneously to viewers. Due to the nature of how the Big Ten schedules football games on Saturdays, the Big Ten Network often must televise several games at once.
In order to satisfy fans of all schools, the network has offered all of its affiliates the opportunity to make these "Extra Football Game Channels" available to their subscribers. However, they are only available for Big Ten Network programming on football Saturdays.
Q: Do I get ""Extra Football Game Channels?""
A: The majority of our cable, satellite and telco affiliates in the eight Big Ten states carry our ""Extra Football Game Channels,"" while many outside the Big Ten region are continuing to make these channels available. The decision whether to carry "Extra Football Game Channels" is made by your cable company's local office. Our GameFinder feature is updated weekly during the football season so you can determine if your local system offers "Extra Football Game Channels," and if so, where to find them in your channel lineup. If you do not get these channels, you can call your local cable office to let them know you are interested.
Q: Why doesn't the Big Ten Network have "Extra Football Game Channels" for basketball? [I have DISH/DIRECTV, and my online channel guide always lists Big Ten Network alternates.]
A: The "Extra Football Game Channels" are only available during the 13 football Saturdays of the season, which are finite windows during a time when there are few other sports taking place. The non-conference basketball season overlaps with many other sports, and so NHL, NBA and other regional football and basketball games are also taking place on the weekend and on weekday nights when basketball games air.
During the conference portion of the basketball season, the Big Ten schedules games in such a way where there is no overlap. Consequently, there is no need for "Extra Football Game Channels" during the conference schedule.
DISH Network changes its on-screen channel guide template infrequently, and so the alternate channels are listed, even though they are not available to us except during the football season. DIRECTV only lists Big Ten Network "Extra Football Game Channels" during football season.
Q: Why isn't my cable company carrying the Big Ten Network?
A: The Big Ten Network has deals with over 250 cable operators, both inside and outside of the Big Ten states, including Canada, and the network is now available to approximately 73 million households "We have not been able to agree on business terms with every single cable operator but we continue to work to make the Big Ten Network available to every home. You may want to consider communicating with your cable company to let them know that there is a desire for Big Ten Network programming in your area.
Q: How does the FCC mandated transition, from analog to digital signals, affect my ability to watch the Big Ten Network?
A: It doesn't. The digital transition only affects customers who do not have a cable box or satellite dish. If you're already receiving the Big Ten Network on your television, you are doing so through a cable box or satellite dish and you'll continue to receive the Big Ten Network.
Q: Why do you stream basketball games on the internet?
A: The Big Ten Network's streaming initiative allows every Big Ten home men's basketball game to receive either live television or internet coverage, a claim that no other conference can make. It also gives Big Ten women's basketball more coverage than any other conference in the country.
As it has in years past, the Big Ten Network will once again televise more than 100 Big Ten men's basketball games and more than 55 women's basketball games during the regular season and nearly every one of the games will be available in high definition. That's more than any other network.
However, the men's basketball non-conference schedule often includes overlapping games, which the network cannot air simultaneously.
The Big Ten Network streams all men's basketball exhibition games (nearly all of which had not been televised in recent years) and also streams some non-conference games where there are conflicts with other Big Ten Network men's basketball telecasts and exclusive ESPN windows. For games that are streamed, the network is contractually unable to televise those games on a live basis.
Every other major conference also streams some games and also has games that have no live television or internet availability.
Q: How can I get a DVD copy of a Big Ten Network programming?
A: We are in the process of developing a system to offer DVDs of Big Ten Network programming to fans, but we are currently unable to fill requests for DVDs of individual programs at this time. However, we do offer four DVDs for sale: The Greatest Stories of Michigan State Basketball, The Greatest Stories of Michigan Football, Illinois Football: The Journey and Minnesota Basketball: The Journey.
ABOUT THE BIG TEN NETWORK:
Q: Why was the Big Ten Network created?
A: The Big Ten Network was created to provide the conference with more national exposure for Big Ten sports while enhancing its existing television agreements with ABC/ESPN and CBS.
The conference wanted to control more fully the advertising environment in which its events were aired (the network accepts no alcohol or gambling advertising), dramatically increase exposure for women's sports and other NCAA sports that had not previously been widely televised and improve distribution for football and men's basketball games that were previously available only on a local or regional basis.
By all accounts, the network has become a stunning success. In fact, the network is well on its way to becoming a global media company, with an incredible brand, multi-platform revenue stream, numerous new media initiatives, and worldwide distribution. The network has enjoyed tremendous success in its short tenure, being nominated for the ""Best in Sports Television"" Award by the Sports Business Journal and winning various marketing awards for our Coaches Marketing Campaign.
Perhaps the best part of the Big Ten Network is that the universities share in its success. In addition to their rights fees, the universities receive a profit share of the network, increased exposure for their programs, and perhaps most importantly an equity stake in a lucrative network which will only increase in value down the road. The network launched on August 30, 2007, and is on the air 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The Big Ten Network was the first network in cable or satellite television history to reach 30 million subscribers within its first 30 days on the air and is now available to more than 73 million households across the U.S. and Canada.
The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks.
Q: How has the Big Ten Network affected television exposure for Big Ten athletics and how does it compare to other conferences?
A: The Big Ten Network is one of several media partners involved with Big Ten sports. Through the Big Ten Network and other outlets, the Big Ten enjoys the most exposure, particularly national exposure, of any conference in the country.
The previous television agreement included a number of football and basketball games which received limited distribution via ESPN Regional. In addition, many games did not receive any television coverage at all. The creation of the Big Ten Network has dramatically increased the number of nationally televised Big Ten games in football and basketball, as well as a wide variety of sports.
Of the 88 Big Ten football games in the 2008 football season, 87 were televised (exception: Northwestern at Duke) and 86 were nationally televised (additional exception: Illinois vs. Western Michigan, a neutral-site game in Detroit). That amounted to 99 percent television coverage and 98 percent national television coverage. No other conference had more than 70 percent of its games on national television.
2008 Football Comparison
|Total Games||Televised||National TV||Steamed||No coverage|
2008 Men's Basketball Comparison
|Total Games||Televised||National TV||Steamed||No coverage|
The network also separates itself in the area of women's basketball. The Big Ten Network once again televised 55 regular season women's basketball games and nine Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament games during the 2008-09 season. Those 64 games already represented the most televised women's basketball games of any network. However, in 2008-09, the Big Ten Network nearly doubled the sport's exposure by streaming 58 games on BigTenNetwork.com.
Other sports such as baseball, field hockey, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling have enjoyed major upgrades in television coverage. All of these sports had previously received little to no television coverage. During the first year of the Big Ten Network, more than 170 Olympic sport events and 17 Big Ten Championships were televised to a national audience. Nearly every event was produced in high definition. The network is augmenting that level of coverage by streaming up to 200 additional events this coming season that would not have previously received television coverage
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