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Big Ten Network is an American sports network based in Chicago, Illinois. The channel is dedicated to coverage of collegiate sports sanctioned by the Big Ten Conference, including live and recorded event telecasts, news, analysis programs, and other content focusing on the conference’s member schools.
It is a joint venture between Fox Sports and the Big Ten, with Fox Corporation as 51% stakeholder and operating partner, and the Big Ten Conference owning a 49% stake. It is headquartered in the former Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog House building at 600 West Chicago Avenue in Chicago.
Big Ten Network was the second U.S. sports network to be devoted to a single college sports conference, having been preceded by the Mountain West Sports Network one year prior to its launch. BTN was later followed by rival cable channels by the Pac-12, SEC and ACC with a similar array of programming.
Big Ten Network Sports
Big Ten Network holds national broadcast rights to all of the conference’s home football games and televises approximately 35-40 football games each season. Each team is guaranteed to appear a minimum of two times annually on the network, one of which must be a conference game.
The network holds national television rights to all men’s basketball conference home games; all non-conference and exhibition games are either televised or streamed on bigtennetwork.com. Each of the conference’s men’s basketball teams appear on the network approximately 10-20 times a season; it carries approximately 60-65 in-conference match-ups, as well as select tournament contests.
Big Ten Network Shows
- Big Ten Icons 2010 – 2011
- BTN LiveBIG
- The Standard Snowboard Show 2003
- The Kevin Wilson Show 2011
- Big Ten Short Stories
- Hockey City Classic 2013
Big Ten Network High definition and 4K
Big Ten Network launched in both standard definition and a 720p high definition simulcast. All of its original programs and studio shows are broadcast in HD, as well as nearly all of its sports telecasts and some of its university-produced coaches and campus shows. The channel has produced all of its football games in HD since 2009.
In September 2017, BTN revealed plans to televise selected games from the 2018 Big Ten men’s basketball tournament in 4K.
Big Ten Network Story
Big Ten Network was launched at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 30, 2007, with Big Ten Tonight as its inaugural program. The network aired its first live telecasts two days later on September 1, which included a football game between Appalachian State and Michigan the game gained national attention for its upset victory; being the first win by a Division I FCS team over a ranked Division I FBS team since Division I was split into two subdivisions by the NCAA in 1978.
On September 2, the network aired its first women’s sports event (a soccer match between Syracuse University and Michigan State) and its first men’s non-revenue sports event (a soccer match between UCLA at Indiana). The new network suffered from limited carriage on its launch, as it was only carried by two major television providers.
By the following year, the network had reached its goal to attain carriage on the “extended basic” tiers of cable providers in all Big Ten markets. While no specifics were revealed, Fox increased its stake in the Big Ten Network to 51% in June 2010, acquiring majority control, using a provision in its contract with the conference.
In time for the 2011 college football season, the network unveiled a new logo and branding (which incorporates the “BTN” acronym), and introduced a new TV Everywhere service known as “BTN2Go,” which offers live streaming of BTN telecasts and other programming through a web browser or mobile app.
The service was initially available to subscribers of Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, DirecTV and Dish Network.
Big Ten Network Basketball
Big Ten Network holds national television rights to all men’s basketball conference home games; all non-conference and exhibition games are either televised or streamed on bigtennetwork.com.
Each of the conference’s men’s basketball teams appear on the network approximately 10-20 times a season; it carries approximately 60-65 in-conference match-ups, as well as select tournament contests.
Big Ten Network also televises approximately 50-60 regular season women’s basketball games annually, along with approximately nine Big Ten Basketball Tournament games. Each Big Ten team appears on the network approximately 8 to 10 times during the season.
The network streams dozens of games live on its website, giving Big Ten women’s basketball the most exposure of any conference in the country. The network maintains a set on-site during the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments in Indianapolis, Indiana with anchors providing coverage and analysis of each day’s game action during the event.
Big Ten Network TV Schedule
- 7:00am The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 7:30am Ohio State Football Classic: Ohio State at Penn State – 10/26/14
- 8:30am The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 9:00am BTN Football in 60: Michigan at Michigan State – 10/25/14
- 10:00am The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 10:30am Ohio State Football Classic: Ohio State at Michigan State – 11/8/14
- 11:30am The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 12:00pm BTN Football in 60: Iowa at Minnesota – 11/8/14
- 1:00pm Wisconsin Football Classic: Nebraska at Wisconsin – 11/15/14
- 2:00pm The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 2:30pm Wisconsin Football Classic: Wisconsin at Iowa – 11/22/14
- 3:30pm The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 4:00pm BTN Football in 60: Indiana at Ohio State – 11/22/14
- 5:00pm Wisconsin Football Classic: Minnesota at Wisconsin – 11/29/14
- 6:00pm The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 6:30pm Ohio State Football Classic: 2014 B1G Championship: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State – 12/6/14
- 7:30pm The Journey: Big Ten Footbal
- 8:00pm Big Ten Elite: 2014 Ohio State Football
- 9:00pm Ohio State Football Classic: Ohio State at Penn State – 10/26/14
- 10:00pm The Journey: Big Ten Football
- 10:30pm BTN Football in 60: Michigan at Michigan State – 10/25/14
- 11:30pm Ohio State Football Classic: Ohio State at Michigan State – 11/8/14