BTN and Comcast announce agreement

It’s official. Here’s a press release.A Comcast symbol.

COMCAST, BIG TEN NETWORK REACH BROAD MULTIMEDIA AGREEMENT
FOR BIG TEN NETWORK CONTENT

Comcast customers to receive Big Ten Network HD, Big TenBig Ten Network Network high-speed
Internet content through Comcast.net, and condensed game replays and other
programs through Comcast On Demand

Philadelphia and Chicago — June 19, 2008 – Comcast Corporation and the Big Ten
Network announced today that they have reached a long-term multimedia agreement for
Comcast to carry Big Ten Network programming across television, broadband and
video-on-demand in time for the 2008 college football season.

Under the terms of the agreement, Comcast will initially launch the network as part of its
expanded basic level of service to promote it to the majority of its customers residing in
states with Big Ten universities (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin,
and Pennsylvania, with the exception of the Philadelphia region which will launch on a
broadly distributed digital level of service) starting August 15th. (Comcast does not have
systems in Iowa, the eighth Big Ten state.) In Spring 2009, Comcast may elect to move
the network to a broadly distributed digital level of service in most of its systems in these
states. Comcast’s digital customers in the Big Ten states will also have immediate access
to live Big Ten games and events in high definition, Big Ten programming via Comcast’s
video-on-demand platform, and a wide array of conference-related content through
Comcast.net.

Outside of the Big Ten states that Comcast serves, Comcast has the option to provide
Big Ten Network programming on any level of service, including its Sports Entertainment
Package.

Officials from Comcast and Big Ten Network said they look forward to utilizing both
traditional and emerging media to bring more Big Ten programming to fans than was
ever available to them before.

“We are very pleased with the agreement we have reached with the Big Ten Network to
carry hundreds of live Big Ten events,” said Madison Bond, Executive Vice President,
Content Acquisition, Comcast Cable. “We will be providing our customers with Big Ten
programming through our signature video-on-demand service, and will have lots of
highlights, replays, scores and more through Comcast.net so fans can keep pace with
Big Ten action whenever they want to.”

Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said the network is thrilled to have Comcast
as a distribution partner. “This agreement allows us to reach many more Big Ten fans
with our programming because of the high concentration of Comcast subscribers in Big
Ten states. With the Comcast deal now in place, the Big Ten Network will be available to
more than two-thirds of all homes in Big Ten Country.”

Big Ten Network already produces more high-definition television content than any new
sports network in television history. Over the next year, more than 400 live Big Ten
sporting events will be carried by the Big Ten Network in high definition, including
football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and soccer, as well as other
NCAA-sponsored sports.

Comcast’s digital customers who receive the network will have On Demand access to
programming such as weekly extended highlights and condensed game replays from
around the conference, classic Big Ten sporting events, bowl game coverage and
coaches’ shows, plus original campus programming and nightly studio shows from Big
Ten Network, most of which is available in high definition.

Comcast also has the ability to deliver much of that same content to its Comcast High
Speed Internet customers via the company’s Comcast.net portal. Additionally, Comcast
has the rights to carry certain network content on Fancast.com.

About Comcast Corporation: Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the
nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products
and services. With 24.7 million cable customers, 14.1 million high-speed Internet
customers, and 5.2 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the
development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the
delivery of programming content.

Comcast’s content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style
Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten Comcast
SportsNet networks and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates
Comcast’s Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-
Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the
Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in
Philadelphia.

About the Big Ten Network

The Big Ten Network is dedicated to covering the Big Ten Conference and its 11
member institutions. The Big Ten Network provides unprecedented access to an
extensive schedule of conference sports events and shows; original programs in
academics, the arts and sciences; campus activities; and associated personalities.
Sports programming includes live coverage of more major men’s and women’s events
than ever before, along with news, highlights and analysis, all complemented by hours of
university-produced campus programming. The network is available to all cable and
satellite carriers and television distributors nationwide, with most programs offered in
stunning high-definition television (HDTV). The Big Ten Network is a joint venture
between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks.
###

17 comments

  1. Wait, did I read that right? Comcast will broadcast the BTN on expanded basic, but only for one year? Then they have the option of putting it on the digital sports package?

    Sounds like the BTN sold their souls for one lousy year of expanded basic cable exposure.

  2. No, Comcast can not put the BTN on a sports tier in the eight state Big Ten region. The press release states that after one year, Comcast can move the BTN to a “broadly distributed digital level of service”. While that phrase is not defined in the press release, in other context it is defined to mean that a minimum percentage of users (e.g. 80%) subscribe to that level of service. This agreement makes sense because over 80% of Comcast’s customers already have basic digital service and analog cable (i.e. expanded basic) is likely to be obsolete in a few years anyway.

  3. Comcast sucks. Don’t waste your time. Get Fios or U-verse if possible. Comcast lags and my DVR has reset at least 3 times in the last year, so I’ve lost everything I recorded.

  4. Too late Comcast. I just signed up for U-Verse this morning. My biggest complaint about Comcast is the lack of HD channels. And most the HD channels I was getting I didn’t even want (Food Network, Versus, HGTV, etc.) Why no Discovery, History Channel, Speed Channel, WGN, TBS?

    At least lie to me and tell me they are coming soon or that you’re working on it. It’s like they just don’t care and that’s what really bothers me.

  5. Yes indeed td
    All this talk about comcast has simply been a cheap advertising ploy for them all along. How many media accounts were there that only mentioned comcast and not all the others that did pick up BTN. Poor old Uverse is still not mentioned. Don’t get me wrong though BTN has really poor production values and Gene K. is absolutely bad along w/ most of their on air types, but hey you get to see all of the games and that is what comcast was and still is missing. They could care less what their customers want. If you haven’t given up on cable co.s by now then I hope your 8 track is still working well also.

  6. TD,

    I typed in my address online at the U-Verse site, and it says they do not offer it. My apartment is going to be located on 96th and College which is right near Carmel. Shouldn’t I get it there?

  7. Scott,

    You probably should be able to get U-verse at that location, but I know ATT has had to install a lot of different locations to be able to get U-verse, so it will probably be available soon….however, after being fed up with Comcast(then Insight) I switched to U-verse in November. As much as I could not stand Comcast (Insight at the time), I switched back in mid-January because the U-verse “glitched” A LOT. Live tv, or even recorded tv, there would be 3-10 second “glitches” where you would miss chunks of what happened. It made the BTN and any other station for that matter worthless when your constantly wanting to see what you are watching seemlessly. And this wasn’t a once every other week occurance, more like once every half hour or so. From the few people I “sold” on U-verse, they get the same thing, but 2 of them have stuck with it only because of the BTN….they are switching back to Comcast in August

  8. Matt
    don’t kid anyone your a comcast salesman.The freeze up problem is fixable w/ a new gateway/router, or simply unplugging the unit from all power. The freeze up was more of porblem early in uverse’s original release.

  9. DougT

    True, you can unplug ur gateway/router all your want, its real fun to do everytime you want to watch seemless TV….great technology, what was I thinking???? I guess I’ll just switch back now

  10. don’t forget that if you are recording something on HD with ur DVR, you cannot watch another HD channel….GREAT technology DougT….I have no idea why I left U-verse…only 1 HD channel can be watched whether you have 2 DVR’s or 15, only one HD channel….man I just can’t wait to call ATT and be on hold for an hour just to sign-up

  11. Matty
    Calm down I don’t really care about HD channels over priced crap from anybody. I don’t really have problems w/ it any more. I guess I was right on the comcast salesman comment.

  12. From what I understand, U-Verse now gives customers the ability to watch a program in HD and record another one in HD simultaneously.

  13. Comcast is not good. Unfortunately U-Verse and Fios are ‘infants’ and simply won’t do if you require your internet connection to be high speed. I work out of my house and i cannot afford to have my TV, Phone, and Internet coming in through the same wire. Slows down my development to a crawl!

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