Big Ten Network Announces Broadcast Teams

"These individuals' backgrounds make up the perfect mix for the Big Ten Network. With their deep-rooted knowledge of Big Ten football and their backgrounds in coaching and on-the-field play, our coverage of Big Ten football games and programs will be solid from Day 1." —BTN Executive Producer Leon Schweir

Despite not having a contract—or even a very healthy relationship—with cable giant Comcast, the Big Ten Network is moving forward as it prepares for an Aug. 30 launch.

In recent weeks, the BTN and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney have gone tit-for-tat in a verbal tussle with the cable provider regarding the viability of the network in Comcast's basic lineup. Comcast spokespeople have characterized to the BTN as a "niche" network with "second- and third-tier events". Delaney and others have taken offense at that description and have called on Comcast to apologize.

All squabbling aside, the BTN has recently announced some additions to their football broadcast team.

Thom Brennaman will provide play-by-play and Charles Davis will deliver color commentary for the fledgling network's lead football broadcasts. The pair last worked together calling the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and BCS National Championship game for FOX.

Joining them will be a team of expert analysts—some of whom have substantial ties to the Big Ten conference. Former head coaches Gary DiNardo (Indiana) and Glen Mason (Minnesota) join ex-players Howard Griffith (Illinois) and Chris Martin (Northwestern)—along with award-winning play-by-play announcer Wayne Larrivee—to provide football insight.

DiNardo and Griffith will provide analysis as they join lead host Dave Revsine, formerly of ESPN, in the studio.

Larrivee and Martin are slated as the number two broadcast team, and Mason will provide analysis for a third broadcast team that has yet to be determined.

"These individuals' backgrounds make up the perfect mix for the Big Ten Network," Executive Producer Leon Schweir said. "With their deep-rooted knowledge of Big Ten football and their backgrounds in coaching and on-the-field play, our coverage of Big Ten football games and programs will be solid from Day 1."

What does it all mean for Michigan State football fans? Not much has changed with Comcast. But if you do get the network, it means you'll see at least two Spartan games with plenty of insider perspective.

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