For the Green and White gridiron fan with the right kind of television equipment, this is great news. People who enjoy the quality of picture, sound, and experience that comes with HD television are a lot like beer connoisseurs: for those who develop a refined taste, only the best will do.
The network will be national in scope, and will feature a nightly studio show following live events.
"The way I look at the studio show is if you're a Big Ten fan, you're going to get coverage that's relevant to what you are looking for," Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said. "And rather than what we have, maybe 30, 40 seconds of coverage that you may see on a general sports information show, we're going to have a full hour dedicated to the Big Ten."
The network also wants to bring fans closer to the game. They will be setting up a mini-studio on each Big Ten campus to interview coaches and student athletes. Expect more airtime for Mark Dantonio, his staff, and your favorite Spartan athletes.
"It's going to help in recruiting," Athletic Director Ron Mason said. "It's going to help in just visibility, and the student athletes are going to be excited about it."
On Saturdays, the network will produce a pre-game and post-game show for each match-up they broadcast. Both shows will combine studio analysis with on-site color and interviews. There will even be a Friday night pre-game show, exploring pep rallies, tailgate plans, and other campus events.
The Big Ten Network already has national contracts with DirecTV and AT&T. They are negotiating with Comcast and report that talks are progressing.
Silverman said the Big Ten Network will work to include their content on expanded basic cable within the entire 8 state footprint of the Big Ten.
Outside of that region, the channel will be available, but only through premium packages. However, Silverman thinks fans will see value in the network, regardless of price: "We think this is something the passionate fans are really going to respond to."
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