Big Ten commissioner visits Pa. legislators, governor's office on Big Ten Network

June 28, 2007

Harrisburg, Pa. -- Jim Delany, commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, spent today (June 28) in Harrisburg meeting with members of the state government to discuss the Big Ten Network, which will launch in August.

Delany began his day by speaking to approximately 90 legislators at the Penn State Forum in the state capitol. He was joined by Penn State President Graham B. Spanier and Director of Athletics Tim Curley at the breakfast and several meetings. The first meeting was with Greg Fajt, chief of staff for Gov. Ed Rendell. They also met with approximately 50 legislators throughout the day, including Joe Scarnati, president pro tempore of the Senate; Bob Mellow, the Senate minority leader; and Rep. John Yudichak.

Commissioner of the Big Ten since 1989, Delany also met with the media. Among the topics he discussed were Penn State's impact on the Big Ten since gaining admission in 1990 and negotiations with Comcast, which provides cable service to 5.6 million households in the eight states that are home to a Big Ten institution. Approximately 2.1 million of the Comcast cable subscribers in the Big Ten footprint are an alumnus of a Big Ten university, according to Delany, in addition to tens of thousands of other subscribers who are fans of a Big Ten school or Big Ten sports.

"Penn State joining the Big Ten has been the most effective, important addition to any conference there has been in the last 20 years," Delany stated. "Penn State is a national program. It resonates nationally. There are plenty of Big Ten fans in Pennsylvania and plenty of Penn State fans across the nation who will want the Big Ten Network."

Last week, Delany announced that the Big Ten Network will become the first national network to commit to "event equality" for men's and women's sports on all network-controlled media within the first three years of launch.

"We're going to impact women's athletes, in particular, girls from grades eight to 12," he said.

The Big Ten Network will launch in August with a programming lineup unparalleled in college sports television today, featuring between 350 and 400 live events including football, men's and women's basketball, Olympic sports, available conference championships and more original high-definition programming than any new network in television history.

A minimum of three Penn State football games will air on the Big Ten Network during the 2007 season. The Nittany Lions' Sept. 1 season opener with Florida International and the Sept. 15 contest with Buffalo will air on the network at noon ET from Beaver Stadium.

Penn State also will make at least one appearance on the Big Ten Network during the eight-game conference schedule. Every Big Ten football team will make at least two appearances on the network each season. The Big Ten Network will air more than 35 football games each year, with 18 contests already announced for the 2007 season.

All games produced by the Big Ten Network will be available to cable and satellite operators nationwide as part of their agreements to carry the network. Whenever the Big Ten Network is producing more than one game airing at the same time, the network will split the feeds regionally among cable operators to allow Big Ten fans to watch the game with the most regional interest. In addition, cable and satellite providers that have agreed to carry the network will be offered the chance to carry the additional games via "overflow" channels. The majority of the games airing on the Big Ten Network will be shown in high definition.

The Big Ten Network is a national television network, available to all cable and satellite providers nationwide, that will allow fans to see their home teams regardless of where they live. The network currently has national agreements in place with DirecTV and AT&T and also a local agreement with Buckeye CableSystem in Toledo, Ohio, for more than 150,000 subscribers in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan. Additionally, the network has agreements pending with more than 40 other cable operators within the eight states of the Big Ten. In total, the network currently is available to viewers in 16 million homes.

Launching in August, the Big Ten Network is dedicated to covering the Big Ten Conference and its 11 member institutions. The Big Ten Network will provide 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 will include 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. The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks.

To get the Big Ten Network, Penn State alumni and fans should call their cable provider and request the network. For more information regarding the Big Ten Network, visit http://www.BigTenNetwork.com/ online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009