Re: DIRECTV to discontinue the Big Ten network?
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.