Big Ten Network Kicks Off Third Season

Sept. 1, 2009

With seven football games on opening weekend, a full slate of new programming and nationwide distribution, the Big Ten Network is poised to begin its third year of operation.

The network will carry first game of the Big Ten football season at 8 PM ET on Thursday, as Indiana hosts Eastern Kentucky at newly-renovated Memorial Stadium. Six other Big Ten teams – Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin – will open their seasons on Saturday with games on the Big Ten Network.  Overall, the network will once again televise between 35-40 football games and all of them will be produced in high definition.

“As we enter our third year of wall-to-wall Big Ten coverage, we’re excited about the additions and enhancements we’ve made to our weekly programming lineup,” Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said. “Every night of the week and all day long on Saturday, the Big Ten Network will be the number one destination for Big Ten fans.”

Six New Programs to Debut
The Big Ten Network will debut several new programs this month, headlined by the “Football Four-Pack,” a quartet of new studio shows that will air at 10 PM ET Tuesday through Friday. 

Tuesday’s show, Breakdown, will be hosted by Dave Revsine, Howard Griffith and Chris Martin. That show will use coaches’ film to review what happened during last week’s games and more importantly, why.  Sites and Sounds will air on Wednesdays with Rick Pizzo and Troy Vincent, former Wisconsin defensive back and one of the network’s new analysts. Former Big Ten head coaches Gerry DiNardo and Glen Mason will join Revsine on Thursday nights for Behind The Schemes to discuss the X’s and O’s of the coming week’s games.  Finally, on Fridays, Revsine will host Big Ten Football and Beyond along with DiNardo, Griffith, Chicago Tribune college football reporter Teddy Greenstein and Sports Illustrated’s Cory McCartney to get a look at the national games that might affect the Big Ten.

The Big Ten Network will be the place for fans to get all they need on football Saturdays.  The day begins at 10 AM ET with the new Big Ten Cookout show. Host Melanie Collins and Chefs Ben and Julius will give fans a taste of the pre-game tailgating scene in the Big Ten.  Revsine, Griffith and DiNardo will host the Big Ten Football Saturday Pre-Game Show. Expanded to 90 minutes this year, the program will whip around the Big Ten to take a final look at the day’s games.  After the network’s game coverage, the studio crew will return for the Big Ten Football Saturday Post-Game Show, complete with more Big Ten highlights, analysis and post-game reaction from coaches and players than any other network.

The network’s new series, The Big Ten’s Best, will pay tribute to the Big Ten’s outstanding history and legacy.  Each episode will rank the conference’s top 10 performers or performances in a particular category and include interviews with players, coaches and media. The series premieres at 8 PM ET on Friday, Sept. 4 with Best Dynamic Football Duos of the 80’s and 90’s. New episodes will air at 8 PM ET each Friday.

Rascal Flatts Records Original Big Ten Network Lyrics, Open
The opening of each Big Ten Network primetime football telecast will include a special performance by country music superstars and Ohio natives Rascal Flatts interlaced with a montage of Big Ten highlights. The band’s performance will include special lyrics of their single Me and My Gang, tailored to Big Ten football.  Their performance was recorded in front of a live audience at a recent concert in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Network Widely Available
For the first time in 2009-10, Big Ten Network football and men’s basketball telecasts will available online to viewers outside of the United States and Canada on

The Big Ten Network, which launched Aug. 30, 2007, operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The network is now available to up to 73 million homes across North America through satellite providers such as DIRECTV, DISH Network and Shaw Direct (Canada), telco companies such as Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse, and on cable in 19 of the nation’s top 20 media markets.

The network has cable distribution agreements with Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications (Cleveland, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas), Insight Communications, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, RCN, WOW!, Shaw and Shaw Direct (Canada) and more than 250 additional cable operators across North America.

Customers of DIRECTV, DISH Network, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse have access to the network’s primary channel and Extra Football Games Channels regardless of where they live. Cable operators inside the Big Ten markets carry the network on either an expanded basic or digital basic level of service.  Cable operators outside of Big Ten markets carry the network on a variety of packages.

Select markets where the network is available are listed below. Fans may also enter their zip code in the GameFinder feature to find out if the Big Ten Network is already available in their area, and which providers in their area carry the network’s extra football game channels.