Dec. 20, 2006
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The Big Ten Network announced today the official location for its studios and business offices in Chicago. The network will be headquartered in the historic Montgomery Ward building located in Chicago's Near North neighborhood. The announcement was made at a press conference at the site by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin, Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany, Fox Sports Networks President Bob Thompson and Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman.
"It is fitting that the Big Ten Network, a channel dedicated exclusively to collegiate athletics and university life, will make its home in Chicago, a city that is so passionate about college sports and education," said Delany.
The Big Ten Network studios will be located in a 44,000 square-foot office space at 600 West Chicago, formerly the Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog House. The original section of the building was designated as a national historic landmark in 2000 for its significant role in American retail history. The space will include two studios and three control rooms as well as a 20,000 square-foot office space.
"Like our Olympic bid, the launch of this network in Chicago is one more indication of Chicago's long-term commitment to amateur and Olympic sports," said Mayor Daley. "We love athletics at every level, and that includes the Big Ten. Chicago is filled with Big Ten graduates. If you walk through many of our neighborhoods on a Saturday afternoon in the fall, you'll see banners of Big Ten schools hanging on front porches and apartment windows."
"The Big Ten Network understands that Chicago is more than just a terrific sports town, but it is also a fantastic place to launch and grow a business," Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich said.
The Governor and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity are providing a nearly $3.2 million business investment package to support the Big Ten Network.
"Chicago is the country's third largest media market, and the largest market in the Big Ten footprint," said Thompson. "It's centrally located to the Big Ten's 11 member institutions, and they'll all be involved in the network's rich programming content, be it sports- or institutionally-related."
"The space that the Big Ten Network will occupy in the former Montgomery Ward building is perfect for our office and studio needs," added Silverman. "The production facilities we plan to construct will be state-of-the-art, and we're looking forward to building-out the space immediately so it will be completed well in advance of our August launch."
The Big Ten Network will carry many of the games and events previously available only through syndication, providing greater exposure for these and other Big Ten sports. The sports programming on the Big Ten Network and/or through alternative Big Ten Network platforms will include, but is not limited to:
- 35-plus football games, with each school having at least two games aired (at least one of which will be a conference game);
- At least 105 regular-season men's basketball games;
- At least 55 regular-season women's basketball games;
Big Ten championships and tournaments;
170 Olympic sporting events; and,
- Coverage from the conference's vast library of historic sporting events, including bowl games.
The Big Ten Conference's compelling athletic competition positions the network as the go-to destination for Big Ten alumni and fans across the nation. In addition to traditional distribution through cable and satellite, select Big Ten Network content will also be available through alternative media platforms such as the Internet, iPods, cell phones and/or other emerging technologies.
The real estate agreement was negotiated by Robert Sevim, David Gordon, Kelly Givins with Studley Inc. on behalf of the Big Ten Network and Brad Despot and Gary Kostecki with Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of the building ownership group of Taconic Investment Partners, Angelo Gordon & Co., Centrum Properties and Amerimar Enterprises. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Big Ten Network, scheduled to launch in August 2007, is dedicated exclusively to the Big Ten Conference and will be the destination for Big Ten fans across the country. Operating 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, the Big Ten Network is majority-owned by the Big Ten Conference, while Fox holds a minority interest in the network. Showcasing a wide array of classic-to-current sports as well as original programming produced by the conference's 11 institutions, it will be available to all carriers and distributors nationwide. For more information regarding the Big Ten Network, visit www.bigten.org. For employment opportunities, interested candidates should submit resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.