This post concerns those who dearly love college football as I do. For those who do not know, the Big Ten is beginning a cable channel all their own. What is wrong with that you say? What is wrong is that the Big Ten channel will have exclusive rights to the Big Ten games. No longer will your games be on free local TV, rather, it now seems as though the trend for college football will be pay per view. How can they do that you say? The commissioner of the Big Ten, Jim Delany, is the one starting up the Big Ten channel. Therefore, ALL of the teams within the Big Ten must comply or else leave the Big Ten. Here is an article I found concerning the issue.
"The man who Sports Illustrated has called the most powerfull person in college athletics has been on what has to be a humbling tour of fan events and editorial-board meetings in the Midwest, extolling the virtues of his new cable TV station. The Big Ten Network will launch August 30, two days before the college football season kicks off. It holds exclusive rights to show Ohio State's opener against Youngstown State, as well as the season openers for five other Big Ten teams that day. The Buckeyes' week 2 matchup against Akron is one of seven Sept. 8 Big Ten games that will be seen only on BTN. There could be a couple more added to the BTN slate as the season progresses. Delany's problem is that most cable companies in Big Ten TV markets--including Time Warner, Insight and WOW, the only three available in Columbus--have flatly refused to carry the network on the Big Ten's terms. The network wants cable companies in the Big Ten's region of the country to pay $1.10 per subscriber, though BTN President Mark Silverman said that number is negotiable. What is not negotiable is BTN's demand to be part of the widely purchased expanded basic programming package--rather than an add-on sports tier for which cable customers would have to pay extra. So, unless a deal gets done quickly, an event that would draw similar ratings in Columbus to the Super Bowl will be unavailable to hundreds of thousands of Buckeye fans. "It's oh-oh time," Delany said Thursday. His hope is that viewers will blame the cable companies for the situation and pressure them to cave. But the fact is that if he had not created the BTN--and laid a claim for those games for the network--Central Ohio cable viewers would get to see the Younstown State and Akron games on another channel, just as they were able to watch last year's games against Cincinnati and Bowling Green. The Big Ten in general and Delany specifically have been hammered by outlets from the Chicago Sun-Times to The New York Times, which characterize the concept of the BTN as nothing but a money grab. Meanwhile, the Southeastern Conference, Big 12, ACC, and Pac-10 all are keeping close watch on teh results. Each is likely to model a network after the BTN in the future, right down to the subscriber fees. So, to counter their growing PR problem, Delany and Siverman embarked on an extended drive through the cornfields of middle America to make their case." (continued)