Sports channel, the Big Ten Network (BTN), is in limbo as its carriage agreement with Comcast expires next month without another deal ironed out.
On Tuesday, BTN’s president, Mark Silverman, delivered a speech between coaches’ news conferences. He began his speech by praising the sports network’s triumphs. Then, while agitated, he swiftly tackled the issue regarding the network’s situation with Comcast.
In April, the largest cable TV and home Internet service provider in the United States made it known to the public that it was excluding BTN in “out-of-market states” where there are no Big Ten schools present.
BTN’s 10-year agreement with Comcast ends by the end of August. Silverman remarked that they have received no substantive feedback from the cable provider about a new
settlement. He said that this has been the case even if BTN has been negotiating proposals since February.
The worse thing that could happen, according to the Big Ten Network president, is that any customer of Comcast would be unable to watch BTN games should no deal be reached between the two firms.
Furthermore, airing the Big Ten games on Fox Sports 1 is a completed arrangement already. Hence, Comcast could let go of those matches, too.
Silverman disclosed that it is in the agenda of Fox Sports 1 and BTN to broadcast nearly 60 Big Ten matches this season.
The Big Ten Network’s president affirmed that the Comcast deal is the most serious challenge BTN has encountered since the channel’s inception in 2007.
Nevertheless, Comcast issued a statement after Silverman’s speech, which somehow allayed the worries of its subscribers who are fans of the BTN sports matches.
According to the cable company, its agreements with content providers like BTN normally conclude from time to time.
Anticipating productive talks, the second-largest broadcasting and cable TV company in the world relayed that they are communicating with BTN about sustaining its carriage of the latter after August 31, the carriage contract’s expiry date.