Fans of the Big Ten Network (BTN) are celebrating tonight as the conference’s media arm has reached a deal with cable giant Comcast. This means that the blackout of Rutgers games on the network, along with all other BTN programming, will not take place as feared. The deal also includes all Big Ten games broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with Comcast, ensuring fans enjoy BTN and the Big Ten on FS1. Thanks for your support – here’s to a great season! pic.twitter.com/yfc417wfh2— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 24, 2018
The cable giant, known for their hard-nosed negotiating tactics with sports networks, reached a deal with only eight days remaining in the current agreement. The length of the new deal was not mentioned in the press release from BTN and Fox Sports.
The press release from the BTN and Fox Sports stated, in part:
“Under the terms of the agreement, Comcast will continue to offer Big Ten Network to its customers who reside in states with Big Ten universities (Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey,Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) Xfinity customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Virginia/Beltway area will also continue to receive the network given their proximity to Big Ten schools. In addition, in the coming months, customers outside of the Big Ten states will have access to the Big Ten Network as part of Comcast’s Sports and Entertainment Package.”
On the Banks reported that this issue had arisen just a month ago, when BTN/FS1 President Mark Silverman brought it up at Big Ten Media Days. Since then, both sides have been feverishly speaking out about the need for a settlement. Even coaches got into the discussion, using their influence to sway fans.
While details have not been discussed at this point, both BTN and FOX stated publicly that their offer was within the going rate for networks of this type. We will bring you details as they become available.