The Big Ten Network is coming. And when it gets here at the end of next month, Ohio State fans will have the opportunity to see all 36 of their Buckeye teams in action.
The games, as compelling as they may be, are only part of the attraction. In addition to 35 football games, 105 men’s basketball games, 65 women’s basketball game and 170 Olympic sporting events including Big Ten championship competition, the Big Ten Network will feature replays of classic Big Ten contests from years past and a nightly studio show that recaps the day’s highlights. The BTN also will carry weekly coaches shows during the football and basketball seasons and compelling behind-the-scenes looks at student-athletes, coaches and teams in feature formats.
But what really makes the Big Ten Network unique is a total of 660 hours of academic programming each year 60 by each member institution that will be produced on the campuses. This programming will showcase the numerous academic breakthroughs and achievements in the Big Ten and will allow the universities to honor alumni as well as current students and faculty who have distinguished themselves in the academic world.
“This is truly a unique approach to broadcasting, but one that I believe is the wave of the future,” said Steve Snapp, Ohio State’s associate athletics director for broadcasting. “We have great teams at Ohio State and our fans will see more games than ever before. We also have a wonderful, and important, story to tell academically and the Big Ten Network allows us to tell that story in our own words. I think our fans will embrace the concept.”
Set to launch on Aug. 30, the Big Ten Network will televise more than 1,000 hours and 360 events in High Definition in the first year alone.
Ohio State’s first two football games of the year, Sept. 1 against Youngstown State and Sept. 8 against Akron, will be televised by the Big Ten Network. Additionally, the Buckeyes’ men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and women’s volleyball teams are all part of the network’s fall programming lineup
“I view the Big Ten Network as a terrific recruiting tool for the entire Big Ten,” said Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel. “And it allows our many fans around the country, and around the world, the opportunity to learn more about the Big Ten Conference.”
With deals already in place with DirecTV and AT&T at the basic cable level, as well as nearly 80 other cable companies, the Big Ten Network will roll out to more than 16 million homes at launch. Additionally negotiations continue with all the major cable operators in an effort to blanket eight-state Big Ten market and other parts of the country.
“Our desire in the Big Ten footprint is to keep the network on basic cable,” said Mark Silverman, president of the Big Ten Network. “We realize that in other parts of the country it may be on a digital tier, but inside eight-state Big Ten area we believe it should be part of the basic cable package.”
As part of the Big Ten football package, the Big Ten Network will carry five prime time games. During the basketball season, there will be games three nights a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) as well as Saturdays and Sundays.
There also will be equity in men’s and women’s programming, with Monday night designated specifically as women’s night. Of course other women’s events will be televised throughout the course of the week.
Dave Revsine, formerly of ESPN has agreed to host the nightly studio show and veterans Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis will be the lead play-by-play team for football. Former Ohio State player and assistant coach Glen Mason is also part of the broadcast team.
Ohio State fans interested in receiving the Big Ten Network should call their local cable provider to make sure it is available.
For further information on the Big Ten Network go to http://www.bigtennetwork.com/.