A friend asked me to find out where the Appalachian State at Michigan game could be seen next Saturday. You’d think that it might be available locally – say Channel 2 – NOPE! ESPN? – Nope, VT v ECU. Did some more searching, found it was being carried by The Big Ten Network. Duh?
It appears that another regional network has emerged from the mess once known as television. The Big Ten Network is cooperative effort (read PROFIT CENTER) between Fox Sports and The Big Ten Conference. It’s got a TWENTY YEAR DEAL!!! It’s pushing itself on the cable companies in the Big Ten Conference footprint, just as MASN is doing here. It has a deal with DirecTV, nothing on Dish Network now. The network launches August 30th, so there’s time.
Now what does this mean. Actually, it a sign of things to come. Look for the ACC Network very soon. Locking out local stations in order to make far more money for the schools. The Southern Conference has already looked at it; but partnered with some empty pockets in the first attempt.
Sports Television is going PAY because of the greed. It might not be $$$$ out-right as you might pay $50 to see a televised fight or “boxing” match; but it’s going to be another channel or tier that the cable and satellite companies add raising their rates. The real winners will be the sports bars, who can justify the expense of subscribing to all these different channels in order to satisfy our need to see our favorite team.