SBD/Issue 242/College Football Preview

Big Ten Net Continuing To Yield Positive Results For Conference

The Big Ten Conference and its 11 member institutions are seeing their Big Ten Network (BTN) venture "begin to pay off," as the net "posted its first profitable quarter last year, and the trend has continued into 2009," according to Libby Sander of THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION. Market analysts "expect the network to turn a $57[M] profit this year -- giving member universities some $29[M] in addition to what their other TV contracts earn." Penn State Univ. President Graham Spanier: "It's been a success financially." Sander noted the "early profit, and the promise of more to come, has Big Ten officials feeling optimistic." The net has "agreements in 22 of the top 25 television markets," its programming is "available to 73 million homes nationwide, and it will soon begin streaming live football and men's basketball games online for fans abroad." Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany: "It's been everything we hoped it would be, but also more difficult. Our schools believed in what we were doing, and they stayed the course." Meanwhile, Delany and Spanier are "somewhat reluctant to compare their approach with the SEC's." Spanier: "It's not a contest. We have our contract with ESPN, which I think is somewhat comparable to the SEC's contract, but then we've got the whole Big Ten Network, which is very different." And Delany is "more blunt," saying, "We have the deal that makes sense to us" (, 8/31). 

NEW AND IMPROVED: The BTN will debut several new programs this month, including the "Football Four-Pack," a quartet of new shows that will air at 10:00pm ET Tuesday through Friday. The opening of each of the net's primetime football telecasts this season also will include a special performance by Rascal Flatts interlaced with a montage of Big Ten highlights. The net's football and men's basketball telecasts during the '09-10 season also will be available to viewers outside the U.S. and Canada on The following lists the schedule and hosts for the net's "Football Four-Pack" programs (BTN).

Dave Revsine, Howard Griffith, Chris Martin
"Sites and Sounds" Rick Pizzo, Troy Vincent
"Behind The Schemes" Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Glen Mason
"Big Ten Football and Beyond" Revsine, DiNardo, Griffith, Teddy Greenstein,
Cory McCartney
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