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View Full Version : DIRECTV to discontinue the Big Ten network?



Playadlc
08-24-2008, 10:03 PM
I am hearing that DIRECTV will discontinue the Big Ten network come October 15th. A friend of mine called and asked and he was told by a rep that this is true.

Anyone else hear anything like this?

mole44
08-24-2008, 10:21 PM
WHY would they do that in the middle of the college football season, the only reason anyone wants the channel to begin with?? If this is true, I'll be very unhappy.

*BaseClogger*
08-24-2008, 10:50 PM
This would be a PR disaster and a huge hit for their rep...

Unassisted
08-24-2008, 11:17 PM
This would be a PR disaster and a huge hit for their rep...Or maybe it's a clear sign that the league is charging more than the market will bear?

Caseyfan21
08-24-2008, 11:40 PM
Or maybe it's a clear sign that the league is charging more than the market will bear?

Hopefully every cable service drops the BTN and we can go back to watching all our favorite Big Ten team's on our regular channels. That network trying to strong arm cable companies was garbage from the beginning and I hope it goes belly up when TV companies realize that people only watch and care about this network for a few college football games a year.

KronoRed
08-25-2008, 12:01 AM
I wouldn't understand them dropping it, moving it to a premium tier would make sense but not dropping it completely.

Anyway I haven't seen anything mentioning this on the usual DirecTV forums and they always have info like that early.

Caveat Emperor
08-25-2008, 12:44 AM
On one hand, seeing the Big 11 fail at things warms my heart.

On the other hand, as a DirecTV customer, I'm certain that if they cancel the Big 11 Network, it'll be replaced by another useless shopping channel.

Bottom line is -- I don't know how to feel about this.

Playadlc
08-25-2008, 01:43 AM
Something weird is going on here...someone from DIRECTV told my friend what I posted above, but I am seeing nothing about DIRECTV dropping the BTN at dbstalk.com.

I am starting to think I got faulty information. The funny thing is though, someone on another site posted the exact thing that I heard tonight. He even mentioned the same October 15 date. If you really think about it though it doesn't make much sense. DTV has realigned a ton of channels, including BTN. I mean, DTV (via its parent, FOX) owns a large part of the BTN. Why in the world would they drop it now?

KronoRed
08-25-2008, 02:16 AM
I wouldn't trust DTV phone reps to tell me anything.

jmcclain19
08-25-2008, 02:32 AM
I am not a Big Ten fan, but it is pretty sweet to have extra football available on Saturdays thanks to the BTN.

I've actually grown a soft spot for Wisconsin last year because of it.

I can't see them cutting back like this, it just wouldn't make any business sense. I remember when they pretty much held fans hostage to get DirecTV in the 1st place because they were one of the only places you could see certain games. Going back now would be a suicide move for a business that solely depends on customer retention.

ochre
08-25-2008, 03:07 AM
Directv, effectively, has partial ownership of the big10 network. I'd be surprised if they dropped it.
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2007/08/22/Directv.ART_ART_08-22-07_A1_7I7MC2O.html

DirecTV's partial owner, News Corp., is the parent company of Fox Cable Networks, which owns a 49 percent stake in the Big Ten Network.

KronoRed
08-25-2008, 03:46 AM
Actually News Corp no longer owns any part of DirecTV, Liberty Media bought them out earlier this year.

Blimpie
08-25-2008, 08:13 AM
With the eve of college football upon us, are we sure that this isn't just Direct TV posturing for a bigger piece of the subscription revenue?

SeeinRed
08-25-2008, 09:48 AM
If I had to guess, this may be DTV trying to hardball BTN into re-negotiating a contract to either lower the price per subscriber or move it into a different tier of programing. TWC still hasn't signed up to the BTN because the BTN won't budge on wanting to be part of the basic package instead of an add on tier. Their asking price is way to high and DTV is probably having problems making it profitable. This could mean movement on the TWC front because DTV is a pretty huge market for BTN to lose. This may force them to move from their stance and get something done with TWC if indeed true.

LoganBuck
08-25-2008, 11:41 AM
I think you are getting false info here. Direct TV is putting on the full court press to sign up Time Warner customers because of the Big Ten Network fights. The ads are all over the radio here in Ohio.

Is it true that Dish Network moved BTN from Basic to Midlevel packages, for those outside of the Big Ten footprint? I heard that rumor from my brother in law last week.

cumberlandreds
08-25-2008, 01:22 PM
I think you are getting false info here. Direct TV is putting on the full court press to sign up Time Warner customers because of the Big Ten Network fights. The ads are all over the radio here in Ohio.

Is it true that Dish Network moved BTN from Basic to Midlevel packages, for those outside of the Big Ten footprint? I heard that rumor from my brother in law last week.

DISH moved it to the Sports Pack if you live outside of the Big Ten country. They are basically treating it like another RSN. You have to pay an $5.99 a month to receive it and a host of other RSN's from around the country.

FlightRick
08-25-2008, 01:41 PM
FWIW, the IU board I go to (oh, what an off-season it's been for my beloved Hoosier Hoops) says this is a patently false rumor, and is only confusion related to DTV shuffling channel assigments and then telling some customers that this will affect the availability of "overflow" Big Ten games. Whatever that means.

That said, put me in the pile with the handful of folks who've joked that they'd like to see the B10 Network flop and go out of business. Not because of any personal animosity towards the conference or its fans (though fall is a trying time, when you'd suddenly swear that OSU *must* be graduating 1.2 million students per year in order to justify the number of people you meet who simply assume that the football game that weekend is at the center of your social schedule)... but just to set a precedent for future ill-gotten attempts to create a network where none need exist.

And then the Big Ten fans have to be smart enough to channel their anger AT THE BIG TEN and not at their service providers. Trying to turn something that's a ten-times-per-year special attraction for most fans into a 365-days-per-year basic cable network is greedy, misguided, and to put it bluntly, retarded. Instead of being lemmings, the fans should rub the conference's nose in its own abject failure while opining "bad doggie." Because thinking a single sports conference is a viable national "brand" and thinking it's a strong enough brand to force the hands of service providers (asking them to shoulder the cost/risk of distributing your content, instead of taking that risk yourself via a syndication network or even -- if you really think you have a product your loyal niche fans will pay for -- a pay-per-view set-up where the free market will insure you are only broadcast in areas and homes where your product is a profitable one) is pretty much the corporate equivalent of dropping a turd in the living room of the very people who make it possible for you to exist.

End rant.


Rick

cumberlandreds
08-25-2008, 02:36 PM
They may want to go the SEC route. They just signed a huge deal with ESPN for the next 15 years.

http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/59824

Blimpie
08-25-2008, 03:06 PM
They may want to go the SEC route. They just signed a huge deal with ESPN for the next 15 years.

http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/59824..and that $150 million per year that ESPN is shelling out to the SEC is for the rights to air sloppy seconds.

CBS has also forked over considerable coinage and will get to air the premier matchups every week.

paintmered
08-25-2008, 03:37 PM
They may want to go the SEC route. They just signed a huge deal with ESPN for the next 15 years.

http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/59824

The SEC deal might be bigger, but the Big East also signed a huge ESPN deal a year or two ago.

*BaseClogger*
08-25-2008, 04:38 PM
Hopefully every cable service drops the BTN and we can go back to watching all our favorite Big Ten team's on our regular channels. That network trying to strong arm cable companies was garbage from the beginning and I hope it goes belly up when TV companies realize that people only watch and care about this network for a few college football games a year.

Those of us who lived out-of-market would wholly disagree with that...

Boston Red
08-25-2008, 05:40 PM
Those of us who lived out-of-market would wholly disagree with that...

So get ESPN GamePlan, which used to have all of the games that are now on Big Ten Network. You get all the games that you wanted anyway, and all of the DirecTV subscribers do not have to subsidize your Big Ten football watching. Seems like the best case scenario to me.

BRM
08-25-2008, 05:52 PM
So get ESPN GamePlan, which used to have all of the games that are now on Big Ten Network. You get all the games that you wanted anyway, and all of the DirecTV subscribers do not have to subsidize your Big Ten football watching. Seems like the best case scenario to me.

I don't remember GamePlan carrying every single Big Ten game but I could be wrong. Seems like I was upset a few years back because I couldn't get some of the IU games.

Did Directv's rates actually increase after picking up BTN?

Boston Red
08-25-2008, 06:56 PM
I have no specific knowledge of it, but they must have. I am sure the Big Ten Network isn't cheap.

I have the Sports Pack, GamePlan and FullCourt on DirecTV, so I am not averse to paying for my sports coverage. I AM averse to ESPN (with ESPNU) and the Big Ten Network trying to bully providers into making all of their subscribers pay for something that probably a vast majority of them do not want.

And all of those Big Ten games that are now on the Big Ten Network on Saturday afternoons were always on ESPN+, which essentially distributed the games to the local markets and were on GamePlan for the rest of the country.

*BaseClogger*
08-25-2008, 08:31 PM
So get ESPN GamePlan, which used to have all of the games that are now on Big Ten Network.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't ESPN GamePlan cost like $150? Why would I want to have to pay for that when Big Ten Network is free for Directv customers?


You get all the games that you wanted anyway, and all of the DirecTV subscribers do not have to subsidize your Big Ten football watching. Seems like the best case scenario to me.

First off, like BRM said I don't think you get every Big Ten game. Second, what is the Big Ten Network costing you? Did they rise prices for which I am unaware of? You know you can just ignore the channel like almost every other one, right?


I don't remember GamePlan carrying every single Big Ten game but I could be wrong. Seems like I was upset a few years back because I couldn't get some of the IU games.

Did Directv's rates actually increase after picking up BTN?

Exactly


I have no specific knowledge of it, but they must have. I am sure the Big Ten Network isn't cheap.

If you don't know if prices have gone u[, why complain about a channel?


I have the Sports Pack, GamePlan and FullCourt on DirecTV, so I am not averse to paying for my sports coverage.

But why pay when you can get it for free?


I AM averse to ESPN (with ESPNU) and the Big Ten Network trying to bully providers into making all of their subscribers pay for something that probably a vast majority of them do not want.

I don't get ESPNU with my package. Did your subscription prices go up?


And all of those Big Ten games that are now on the Big Ten Network on Saturday afternoons were always on ESPN+, which essentially distributed the games to the local markets and were on GamePlan for the rest of the country.

Yes, but as has been repeated several times Big Ten Network has cost much less than GamePlan and oh, by the way, it carries more than just football games...

guttle11
08-25-2008, 08:51 PM
You have to look at it from the BTN's perspective. They can't grow to what they aspire to be on a sports tier. They may not even be able to survive.

The BTN realizes they are a sports tier network in most of the country. The problem is that Time Warner and the others want them on a tier in Big Ten country. Most of their audience comes from there, and that's their only chance to get big ad dollars. They have to be on extended basic in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin...

Boston Red
08-25-2008, 09:50 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't ESPN GamePlan cost like $150? Why would I want to have to pay for that when Big Ten Network is free for Directv customers?

Well, that's exactly the point. Those of us who actually want the games should have to pay for them. Not the 90% of DirecTV viewers who would never watch a Big Ten football game, much less a thrilling midweek Purdue/Northwestern field hockey game.

Boston Red
08-25-2008, 09:51 PM
You have to look at it from the BTN's perspective. They can't grow to what they aspire to be on a sports tier. They may not even be able to survive.

If it cannot survive, all the better.

guttle11
08-25-2008, 09:57 PM
If it cannot survive, all the better.

All the better for what? Your bill is going to rise, with or without the BTN. If you have it and it goes away, your bill will not go down.

Boston Red
08-25-2008, 10:05 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if it did. The BTN, I'm sure, charges AT LEAST $1 per subscriber, per month. If DirecTV raised their rates $1 when they picked up the BTN, they very well might reduce them by a buck if the BTN went away.

cumberlandreds
08-26-2008, 07:41 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if it did. The BTN, I'm sure, charges AT LEAST $1 per subscriber, per month. If DirecTV raised their rates $1 when they picked up the BTN, they very well might reduce them by a buck if the BTN went away.

I wouldn't hold my breathe on that one.

BRM
08-26-2008, 09:24 AM
I wouldn't hold my breathe on that one.

No kidding. I don't remember any rate increases on my DTV bill in the last year. I guess I'll have to dig up some old ones and check. Did my bill when they added the 15th different shopping channel? Or Oxygen?

SeeinRed
08-26-2008, 09:26 AM
NM

SeeinRed
08-26-2008, 09:42 AM
You have to look at it from the BTN's perspective. They can't grow to what they aspire to be on a sports tier. They may not even be able to survive.

The BTN realizes they are a sports tier network in most of the country. The problem is that Time Warner and the others want them on a tier in Big Ten country. Most of their audience comes from there, and that's their only chance to get big ad dollars. They have to be on extended basic in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin...

If you look at it from one side, you always have to look at it from the other. You are absolutely right.

I tend to look at it like this. BTN is a specialty network dealing only in college sports. When you have a specialty network, that is wanting big money you have to weigh wether it is worth raising your prices for a network with limited appeal. TWC had decided it wasn't worth it for the price the BTN was asking. Obviously something changed that caused the BTN and TWC to come to an agreement. I'd be curious to hear the final terms, but I'm guessing the BTN had to come down in price to be included in the extended basic tier. They were wanting something like 1.37 per TWC subscriber. Thats some big time money.

Caseyfan21
08-26-2008, 10:17 AM
Those of us who lived out-of-market would wholly disagree with that...

I do think it's a bit ridiculous that a lot of people in Columbus/Dayton cannot watch OSU football games since Time Warner can't come to an agreement and that is my perspective on this. My parents cannot afford to buy tickets and drive up to Columbus every weekend so there are 3-4 games a year now that they have to call me to find out what happened.

I really don't know how the games are telecast out of market (maybe you could shed some light) but before the BTN did out of market people just not get to see the smaller games that were on ESPN+ or whatever other channels? If so I can understand where you're coming from and how the BTN can be a blessing for you (and other out of marketers). But most local people just think of the BTN as the bad guy not letting them see OSU football games.

And for the record, I fully blame the BTN for this mess...not Time Warner. I also think it's beyond ridiclous that Ohio State sends out an email to people on their email list detailing how Time Warner is the one screwing people over.

Caseyfan21
08-26-2008, 10:20 AM
Yes, but as has been repeated several times Big Ten Network has cost much less than GamePlan and oh, by the way, it carries more than just football games...

Thanks, question from previous post answered.

Caseyfan21
08-26-2008, 10:24 AM
And now I just realized an agreement was reached between BTN and Time Warner...oh well. I live outside the area for the summer so I did not realize this until I just looked at the Dayton Daily News website. I was hoping TWC would hold out and not give in.

Caveat Emperor
08-26-2008, 01:23 PM
All the better for what? Your bill is going to rise, with or without the BTN. If you have it and it goes away, your bill will not go down.

I'd rather watch a test-pattern on an empty channel than a Big Ten football game.

Unfortunately, I can't call my cable or satellite provider to request one.

gilpdawg
08-26-2008, 03:53 PM
I sure will enjoy it come hoops season.

*BaseClogger*
08-26-2008, 04:33 PM
I'd rather watch a test-pattern on an empty channel than a Big Ten football game.

Unfortunately, I can't call my cable or satellite provider to request one.

First of all, I seriously doubt that. Second, the BTN carries more than just football games. Last year I watched quite a few basketball games and the recruiting coverage. Lastly, the Big Ten bashing is getting to be a nuisance. What did your last post add to the discussion?

*BaseClogger*
08-26-2008, 04:35 PM
I really don't know how the games are telecast out of market (maybe you could shed some light) but before the BTN did out of market people just not get to see the smaller games that were on ESPN+ or whatever other channels? If so I can understand where you're coming from and how the BTN can be a blessing for you (and other out of marketers). But most local people just think of the BTN as the bad guy not letting them see OSU football games.

When I was in Michigan I would miss about 2 or 3 games a year. Usually the low-profile OOC games and a game against Northwestern or Indiana. Then with the BTN, I got every single game for no extra charge from Directv....

BRM
08-26-2008, 04:38 PM
When I was in Michigan I would miss about 2 or 3 games a year. Usually the low-profile OOC games and a game against Northwestern or Indiana. Then with the BTN, I got every single game for no extra charge from Directv....

No extra charge?

*BaseClogger*
08-26-2008, 04:49 PM
No extra charge?

It was a part of the Plus package as I remember...

BRM
08-26-2008, 05:04 PM
It was a part of the Plus package as I remember...

I don't remember any price hike last year when the BTN was first added but lots of folks keep claiming they are paying for it when they don't want it. :dunno:

*BaseClogger*
08-26-2008, 05:13 PM
I don't remember any price hike last year when the BTN was first added but lots of folks keep claiming they are paying for it when they don't want it. :dunno:

I agree. I think you should go back and reread my original statement. There were no extra charges for the BTN...

guttle11
08-26-2008, 05:13 PM
I don't remember any price hike last year when the BTN was first added but lots of folks keep claiming they are paying for it when they don't want it. :dunno:


Which is funny. I can't stand GSN, but I don't whine and complain about it being on my TV package.

Somehow if it were Pac-10 Network, I doubt people would care. The Big Ten is a punching bag for people with nothing better to say and/or do with their free, and sometimes paid, time.

BRM
08-26-2008, 05:54 PM
I agree. I think you should go back and reread my original statement. There were no extra charges for the BTN...

That's what I was thinking. Not sure why there is so much angst over the channel then.

*BaseClogger*
08-26-2008, 05:55 PM
That's what I was thinking. Not sure why there is so much angst over the channel then.

Love in disguise? :D

Caveat Emperor
08-26-2008, 10:53 PM
First of all, I seriously doubt that.

It's true -- I'm a DirecTV customer, and I frequently found myself watching reruns of the World Series of Poker while there were Big Eleven games on.


Lastly, the Big Ten bashing is getting to be a nuisance. What did your last post add to the discussion?

Nothing whatsoever. :cool:

I think each one of the BCS conferences are contributing strongly to the downfall of collegiate athletics and working overtime to marginalize mid-major programs. I'll continue to bash away until the elitist attitude they and their fans have disappears.

Not that I'm holding my breath that it'll ever happen.

Brutus_the_Red
08-28-2008, 02:21 AM
e

BRM
08-28-2008, 09:29 AM
So, is it confirmed that Directv will not have the BTN overflow channels anymore? Looking ahead at the guide, I don't see them anywhere. That will suck royally if true.

BRM
08-28-2008, 09:45 AM
I just looked at the gamefinder on the BTN website and here is the Directv listings for Saturday.

12:00 PM (ET) / 11:00 AM (CT)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE VS. OHIO STATE: channel 610 (SD) or 610 (HD)
AKRON VS. WISCONSIN *: channel 623 (SD) or 623-1 (HD)
MAINE VS. IOWA: channel 618 (SD) or 618-1 (HD)
WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. INDIANA *: channel 620 (SD) or 620-1 (HD)
COASTAL CAROLINA VS. PENN STATE: channel 617 (SD) or 617-1 (HD)

7:00 PM (ET) / 6:00 PM (CT)
NORTHERN ILLINOIS VS. MINNESOTA: channel 610 (SD) or 610 (HD)

* Denotes game not produced in HD.

*BaseClogger*
08-28-2008, 11:06 AM
I just looked at the gamefinder on the BTN website and here is the Directv listings for Saturday.

12:00 PM (ET) / 11:00 AM (CT)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE VS. OHIO STATE: channel 610 (SD) or 610 (HD)
AKRON VS. WISCONSIN *: channel 623 (SD) or 623-1 (HD)
MAINE VS. IOWA: channel 618 (SD) or 618-1 (HD)
WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. INDIANA *: channel 620 (SD) or 620-1 (HD)
COASTAL CAROLINA VS. PENN STATE: channel 617 (SD) or 617-1 (HD)

7:00 PM (ET) / 6:00 PM (CT)
NORTHERN ILLINOIS VS. MINNESOTA: channel 610 (SD) or 610 (HD)

* Denotes game not produced in HD.

Does this mean they will have the overflow games?

BRM
08-28-2008, 11:23 AM
Does this mean they will have the overflow games?

It looks that way to me.

LoganBuck
08-28-2008, 12:31 PM
It looks that way to me.

They will, but DTV is still moving stuff around. The haven't shown up in my guide menu yet.

BRM
08-28-2008, 12:37 PM
They will, but DTV is still moving stuff around. The haven't shown up in my guide menu yet.

I didn't see them on the guide either. That's why I went to the BTN website to see if they had any info.

GAC
08-29-2008, 06:24 PM
I don't remember any price hike last year when the BTN was first added but lots of folks keep claiming they are paying for it when they don't want it. :dunno:

It didn't cost me any extra, and my bill amount has never changed.

GAC
08-29-2008, 06:28 PM
They will, but DTV is still moving stuff around.

Yep. They are becoming like Walmart. :p:

Yachtzee
08-29-2008, 08:53 PM
They will, but DTV is still moving stuff around. The haven't shown up in my guide menu yet.

You might need to go out and find them yourself. I have a DirectTV w/ Tivo receiver. All I could see was the BTN channel that says "Moving to Channel 620" or something like that. So I went to the settings to change which channels I receive and was able to add the new BTN channel position and I found all the BTN alternate channels. Right now they aren't all placed together, so they might change around again.