Big Ten Network officials visit Penn State, discuss new television cha

May 04, 2007

University Park, Pa. -- Officials from the upcoming Big Ten Network visited Penn State's University Park campus Friday (May 4) and discussed plans and expectations for the conference's cable and satellite television channel.

Mark Silverman, network president, and Elizabeth Conlisk, network vice president of communications, chatted with reporters in the Beaver Stadium media room Friday morning about the network, which will launch in August.

"This will be a network dedicated to Big Ten fans, representing the finest in college athletics and all that the 11 Big Ten universities represent," Silverman said. "Our goal is to ensure that we deliver a product that is representative of the quality of the Big Ten."

Silverman explained that the network has already reached and agreement with DirecTV and AT&T to offer the Big Ten Network nationwide as part of their basic television service. The network is in talks with numerous other carriers throughout the nation, and Silverman said he is confident the network will become available to much of the eight-state footprint of the Big Ten and throughout the nation.

When launched, the Big Ten network will offer a programming line-up of not only major sports such as football and men's basketball, but also a wide array of Olympic and women's sports. So far, the network plans to broadcast at least 35 football games, 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games and a full slate across all top sports such as soccer, swimming, wrestling, field hockey and more.

ABC and CBS maintain their packages to broadcast men's football and basketball games.

The network will also feature classic conference football and basketball games dating back as far as the 1950s and '60s, with in-depth analysis. A nightly studio show will bring comprehensive coverage from throughout the Big Ten.

Additionally, the Big Ten Network will feature hundreds of hours of non-sports programming from universities, showcasing their strengths and communicating with a broad audience.

Many events and programs will be produced in high-definition television (HDTV). In addition to distribution through cable and satellite, plans are under way to deliver Big Ten Network content through alternative media such as the Internet, cell phones and other emerging technologies.

"We have a lot to live up to," Silverman said. "The Big Ten means something and connotes a level of passion and excellence that is special. We need to launch at a higher level. I think this will be a great testament to the 11 universities. It is a bold move for the conference to make, and to me it represents a great belief in the quality of the conference."

The network encourages fans who want to ensure access to contact their cable and/or satellite providers to find out when the Big Ten Network will be available in their community. Additionally, fans can register as a Big Ten Insider at to receive the latest information about what's happening with the network.

For photos from Friday's event, visit online.

For video of Silverman's discussion with the media at Beaver Stadium, visit online.

  • Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman visited Penn State Friday (May 4) to discuss the conference's new television channel. For photos from the event, click on the image above or visit online.

    IMAGE: Geoff Rushton

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010