Big Ten Network Battle

By: A.J. Hilton Email
By: A.J. Hilton Email

Reno's East Side Sports Bar & Grill has always been a popular hang out for MSU fans.

"For all the games we definitely get to capacity," said General Manager Stephanie Anderson.

News of the Big Ten Network taking over programming for most Big Ten sporting events means they'll have purchase more programming.

"If there's a game out there and it's possible, we're going to get it," said Anderson.

It's a great way not only to expose not only the great athletes and the
great coaches that we have in the Big Ten, but also to bring people much closer to the universities," said Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany.

Exposure could prove tougher to come by than advertised. Mark Silverman, president of the Big Ten Network, says more than 70 cable companies across the country have signed to carry the channel.
But Comcast isn't one of them.

The network is slated to launch at the end of August. Silverman and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany were on MSU's campus
Wednesday, pushing for more companies to carry the network.

"We're producing over 400 events. We want to make them all available to cable operators," said Silverman. "You should be able to pick which game you want to see."

A copy of the Michigan State University 2007-08 football schedule shows MSU playing eight games against opponents in the Big Ten.
If you don't have the Big Ten Network, you're guaranteed to see the Spartans play only a single game on television. That game is on September 22nd against Notre Dame, because Notre Dame has a contract with NBC.

"Direct TV has agreed," said Silverman. "They're carrying all the games. So if you're a direct TV subscriber, you're going to get access."

Not everyone has Direct TV, and not everyone is going to pay for it.

"The Big Ten Network definitely is going to mess that up," said Alison Rosaen, a diner at Reno's. "It's going to make people go to the bar more often."

Great news for businesses like Reno's-- not necessarily for the Big Ten Network.


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  • by Steve L. Location: Columbus on Aug 15, 2007 at 12:09 PM
    The Big Ten network is disingenuous to place the blame on the cable operators. After all, I had all the games of my favorite team (OSU) until the Big Ten came in and upset the status quo. The fact is the Big Ten's only concern with its fans is how to extract more dollars from them. Yeah, some of those football games are laughers, but if you follow a team, you want to see them. Plus, come basketball season, key confernece games may be unavailable if a deal isn't reached. I am furious that a taxpayer-funded state university can so readily participate in putting the screws to its supporters.
  • by Brett Location: Lansing on Aug 9, 2007 at 10:12 AM
    The big cable companies make you pay for a LOT of channels that few people watch...think of all the shopping channels, for example. Why not bump one of those and replace it with the BTN? I think plenty of people would watch the Big Ten Network!
  • by Mike Location: Madison, WI on Aug 9, 2007 at 07:41 AM
    Michigan State will have at least four games nationally televised on stations other than the Big Ten Network this year: 9/1:VS UAB ESPN2 9/15:VS Pittsburgh ESPN 9/22:VS Notre Dame NBC 10/20:VS Ohio State ABC
  • by Mark Location: Jackson on Aug 8, 2007 at 06:12 PM
    The all might dollar clouded the vision of these schools. It is like the NFL network with primetime games. No one is going to pay extra if it is not part of a package.
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