Big Ten Announces Unprecedented Television Coverage for 2007-08 Men's Basketball Season
Sept. 10, 2007
The Big Ten Conference office announced the non-conference portion of the 2007-08 men's basketball schedule today, revealing an unparalleled television lineup with every home game appearing on television for the first time in conference history. Overall, no fewer than 235 men's basketball games, including home, away and neutral contests, will be featured on CBS Sports, an ESPN platform or the Big Ten Network beginning with exhibition play in October.
"Thanks to increased commitments from CBS and ESPN along with the creation of the Big Ten Network, Big Ten men's basketball will receive more national exposure than ever before," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. "Over the last three seasons, more than 170 men's basketball games were not televised, but our new agreements guarantee that all home games will appear on television. The breadth and depth of this coverage is unprecedented and will highlight our outstanding coaches and student-athletes on almost a daily basis from the first opening tip."
The conference's new 10-year national rights contract with ESPN means that between 53 and 56 home games will appear on an ESPN platform, with the majority of contests broadcast by ESPN or ESPN2. The total number of games on an ESPN network during the upcoming season increases to as many as 83 contests when including non-conference away or neutral-site matchups. The new agreement will also double the amount of mid-week games featured during intraconference play, as ESPN or ESPN2 will air a weekly contest on both Tuesday and Thursday. An ESPN platform will also show games on Saturday and Sunday, along with first-round and quarterfinal matchups of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
The Big Ten Network will distribute 135 Big Ten men's basketball games during the 2007-08 season. The Big Ten Network schedule will begin with every exhibition contest and all home non-conference games not appearing on CBS Sports or an ESPN network. Once Big Ten play rolls around, the network schedule will feature a double-header every Wednesday night along with games on Tuesday or Thursday nights and a robust package of games on the weekends, including double-, triple- and quadruple-headers. All intraconference games will be distributed on a national basis, which means the end of the split-regional or local broadcasts seen in the past. The Big Ten Network will also televise first-round and quarterfinal contests during the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
The 2007-08 Big Ten men's basketball television schedule is tentatively scheduled to begin on Wed., Oct. 31, with an Illinois exhibition game on the Big Ten Network. The network will also feature the first regular-season games on Fri., Nov. 9, when Iowa hosts Idaho State and Michigan takes on Radford.
The 103rd year of Big Ten conference play will start on Wed., Jan. 2, 2008 and will feature two more conference outings per team, as the Big Ten schedule increases from 16 to 18 games. The opening night of Big Ten action will be highlighted by a Big Ten Network double-header including Wisconsin at Michigan at 7 p.m. EST and Indiana at Iowa at 8 p.m. CST, while Northwestern will host Penn State on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. CST. Defending Big Ten champion and national finalist Ohio State will open conference play one night later at Illinois on Thu., Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. CST on ESPN. Michigan State, Minnesota and Purdue will begin their conference slates on Sat., Jan. 5.