For the average Rutgers fan, there was not a lot of important news in the initial day of press conferences by coaches in Day 1 of the 2017 Big Ten Media Days. There were a lot of interviews of coaches, etc. Today’s schedule included interviews with half of the conference coaches, including this one (I swear, the reporters look younger every year!):
The most important news for Scarlet Knight afficianados was the half-hour conversation with Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner. He confirmed a story that came out over a year ago regarding the new media deal. Until today this was never officially commented upon by the conference. It is as good as it sounded when details leaked last year.
Contract details that are now confirmed:
- Over the next six years, the conference will share $2.64 billion (yes, that’s a B) from the various media outlets involved in the deals;
- Fox and ESPN will each have 25 football and 50 basketball games each season;
- Fox is paying more, because of two reasons: one, the football championship this December in Indianapolis is theirs, and they get first choice on games;
- The deal with the Big Ten Network is extended 15 years, through 2032;
- As part of the deal, for the first time, there will be Big Ten games on Friday nights, despite the blowback from some of the blue bloods of the conference. Both Michigan and Penn State have said they will not participate in Friday night games, and Delany has assured the rest of the conference that there will only be two Friday games per season in the conference after Labor Day weekend. Rutgers plays Washington on Friday, September 1 this season;
- The number of night games will increase as well. Delany said the number will increase from 15-18 per year to “the low 20s” in this contract.
This is the tenth anniversary of BTN, the Big Ten Network. To commemorate that landmark anniversary, Big Ten Network also released details for the upcoming season. They include:
- BTN: Ten B1G Years - debuts on Aug. 30 and go behind-the-scenes for the launch of the Big Ten Network in August of 2007. Throughout the year, 10 shows will follow that capture the most exciting plays, highlights and wins from each academic year since the network has been on the air. Additionally, two special episodes from The Journey will chronicle the most memorable stories and moment from the series’ 100 plus episodes.
- BTN Tailgate- the on-campus pregame show instituted last season will expand to two hours each week, running from 10 AM to noon for ten Saturdays this year. Analyst Stanley Jackson will join the crew of Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Spice Adams to serve as the home for Big Ten football fans this fall.
- Sports Lite with Mike Hall and Campus Eats Presented by EatStreet - both are also returning for second seasons on BTN. Campus Eats, hosted by Jenny Dell and Troy Johnson, debuts on Sept. 5 and provides viewers with a first-hand look at the unique and iconic restaurants found across the Big Ten, while Sports Lite with Mike Hall debuts on Sept. 6 and delivers an unbuttoned take on Big Ten events and personalities from coast-to-coast.
- BTN Live, B1G Football Beyond and The Journey and Beyond and The Journey - all return this fall with B1G Football and Beyond airing daily and BTN Live airing nightly throughout the week with highlights, analysis and special guests. BTN Live will debut on Aug. 1 and B1G Football and Beyond will debut on Aug. 28. The Journey: Big Ten Football 2017 will debut this October.
- New On-Air Talent - In addition to the addition of former players being added to the stable of on-air personalities, BTN is adding its first-ever female play-by-play reporter for games. Lisa Byington, who has served in the network as sideline reporter, studio host and play-by-play voice, will debut when Northwestern hosts Bowling Green on September 16.
The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Sports. It began in 2007, and now is an international sports network that broadcasts over 1,500 events annually, in addition to original programming. The desire by the network to get a foothold in the media capital of the world is what led the conference to extend invitations to both Rutgers and Maryland in 2012. That move has proven to be incredibly successful, as there are now more than double the initial 30 million subscribers that had access to the network upon its debut 10 years ago.
For a full schedule for Big Ten Media Day on tuesday, including Rutgers Chris Ash's time to speak at the podium, click here.