Big Ten Network Frequently Asked Questions

Q--What is the Big Ten Network?

A--The Big Ten Network is an exciting new television network that the Big Ten Conference is launching in August 2007 to nationally promote a wide array of Big Ten sports and academic programming, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Q--Who owns the Big Ten Network?

A--The Big Ten Network will be majority owned by the Big Ten Conference with Fox Cable Networks holding a minority interest. Fox has a proven track record of successfully launching other channels, and we believe they will be a success factor in the launch of the Big Ten Network.

Q--What will be on the Big Ten Network?

A--The following programming will be on the Big Ten Network and/or alternative Big Ten Network platforms:

  • 35+ football games per season
  • At least 105 regular-season men's basketball games
  • At least 55 regular-season women's basketball games
  • Big Ten championship events
  • Archived Big Ten events, including bowl games
  • 170 Olympic sporting events
  • Coaches' shows
  • 660 hours of institutional programming

Q--Where can I get the Big Ten Network?

A--The Network will be available to cable and satellite operators nationwide, and consumers should contact their particular distributor regarding how to receive it. DIRECTV is the first distributor to affiliate with the Big Ten Network, agreeing to carry the Network at launch on its Total Choice package. The Network will also look at opportunities to utilize developing and emerging technologies to distribute its programming content, including the Internet, mobile/wireless, interactive and on-demand.

The goal of the Big Ten Conference is to have the Network as widely distributed as possible in each school's market as well as nationally. It is our expectation that the quality of the programming and the passion of Big Ten fans will ensure that goal becomes a reality. However, we can never guarantee that a specific television distributor will carry the Big Ten Network until we have a contract signed.

Q--Will I have to pay more for the Big Ten Network?

A-- The cost of the Big Ten Network will be included in the fees that subscribers pay for their basic level of cable or satellite service, or in the case of DIRECTV, the Total Choice package.

Q-- How will these new arrangements impact game selection?

A--The answer is very little. In previous years, ABC had first selection of Saturday afternoon football games, and that will continue. CBS had first pick of weekend men's basketball games, and that will continue. In previous years, ESPN had first selection of weekday men's basketball games, and that will continue. ESPN on most weekends has second and third selection of football games, and this will continue. In past years, ESPN Regional Television, the Conference's syndication outlet, had first pick of the remaining football and men's basketball games. Now, those games will appear on the Big Ten Network and/or Big Ten Network platforms. All games will be selected on merit and the respective network's estimation of viewer demand and appeal.

Q--Why is it necessary to create a new channel?

A--As a premier college athletic and academic conference, the Big Ten sees enormous opportunity to reach millions of Big Ten alumni and sports fans across the nation through this new national channel. With the growing popularity of an increased number of sports and the incredible distribution of the Big Ten's more than four million alumni across the nation, the Big Ten feels an obligation to provide our fans with the most access to the most programming possible.

Q-- Has this sort of thing been done before?

A-- The Big Ten Conference is the second conference to announce the impending launch of its own television network. The Big Ten Network is a national channel devoted to Big Ten athletic and academic programs and will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It will be made available to all television distributors and will be available nationally through DIRECTV at launch.

Q--What are the financial terms of this agreement?

A--The Big Ten Conference does not divulge financial arrangements of its television agreements. We have made a 20-year commitment with Fox to grow this channel to the benefit of our 11 member institutions.

Q--Where can I apply for a job with the Network?

A--You can email your information to