Michigan Upset Gives Huge Boost For BTN

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I personally didn't get to watch that debacle last Saturday (it was probably for the best), and I think a lot of you are/were in the same boat. This was in part because the game was on The Big Ten Network, but more importantly because no one has the damn channel. The Network still has not completed a deal with major cable providers anywhere in the United States let alone Big Ten Country.

So what did this game provide to the startup network? Well mostly a ton of leverage....here is a collection of quotes from around the Country....

"Given the various entities clamoring for highlights of the game, it goes to our point that there is a broad appeal for this type of programming. It justifies our contention that there is a demand for us”- BTN President Mark Silverman

“The stunning upset is going to forever be associated with the first national broadcast on the Big Ten Network.”- BTN VP/Communications Elizabeth Conlisk

“If the Big Ten was looking for the trigger to inspire a peasant attack on the Comcast castle with pitchforks and burning torches, this might do it”- Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press

"Comcast mocked the Appalachian State-Michigan matchup, with officials saying: Why would the BTN think anyone would want to watch that?”- Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune

"BTN wants 100% of households to pay for programming only a few want to see. Comcast wants to make the network available to customers who want it, but not force it on those who do not”- Comcast Midwest Division President Bill Connors

“There is clearly a high level of interest in the network based on the call volume, and we’ve put extra installers in the field in the Des Moines area to make sure we install Big Ten fans as soon as possible”- DirecTV PR Dir Robert Mercer

“Sooner or later, the cable companies will submit. Why? BTN is gearing up to air 64 Big Ten regular-season men’s basketball games”- Michael Arace, Columbus Dispatch

“I don’t think Comcast cares that much for the product. I think it’s dealing from a position of strength considering the breadth of college sports it already offers its subscribers now. ... I don’t think it’s at all enthusiastic about providing exposure to what it sees as a direct rival in the sports television universe”- David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot News
What up now Comcast?!?! Your move.

(Most quotes obtained via Sports Business Daily)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 2:16 PM

6 Comments:

The problem is, when the next I-AA school beats a Big Ten school, it won't be a big deal anymore.

The novelty is gone. It's already happened.

gilbert said...
Sep 5, 2007, 2:49:00 PM  

whaddya mean no one gets the big ten network? real sports fans have directv. directv has the big ten network.

i watched it (as well as the penn state-fiu game). :^)

Anonymous said...
Sep 5, 2007, 3:07:00 PM  

That could be the case Gil, but even moreso...how overvalued is the conference as a whole now? Michigan's loss looks bad for everyone.

Sep 5, 2007, 3:24:00 PM  

“The stunning upset is going to forever be associated with the first national broadcast on the Big Ten Network.”

No it won't.


FYI, Indiana and Northwestern (probably Illinois as well) have both lost to 1-AA teams over the past 5 years. Michigan is clearly a follower, not a leader.

GMoney said...
Sep 5, 2007, 3:41:00 PM  

Speaking of Northwestern, our non-nationally televised games (read: almost all of them) used to be on local networks via ESPN Plus. Thanks to the BTN fiasco, I now can't watch games on TV. Thanks a lot, big ten.

Matt said...
Sep 5, 2007, 4:11:00 PM  

"What's going to happen with the Mike Hall tailgating show now?"

- Mike Hall

Anonymous said...
Sep 5, 2007, 9:31:00 PM  

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