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The Big Ten Nework: The Nuts and Bolts

Kirk Ferentz believes the Big Ten Network will provide all UI athletic programs a valuable boost in recruiting

Kirk Ferentz believes the Big Ten Network will provide all UI athletic programs a valuable boost in recruiting

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    Here's a nuts and bolts overview of the Big Ten Network, a national television network that will deliver to Iowans more programming involving the University of Iowa on an annual basis than any other network in television history.

    What is it?

    The Big Ten Network is a new television network that will produce for distribution to a national audience programming featuring exclusively activities of the 11 institutions that are a part of the Big Ten Conference.

    The Big Ten Network will go live on August 30, 2007. In its first year of existence, the Network will produce and/or distribute live coverage of as many as 400 intercollegiate athletics events in addition to select Big Ten Conference championships and hours of original programming. It will also offer more than 660 hours of programming that will showcase the academic excellence and ground-breaking research that is happening regularly on the 11 campuses.

    Specifically, the Big Ten Network will produce and distribute live in high definition television, among others, more than 35 football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, more than 60 women's basketball games and more than 20 women's volleyball matches. The Big Ten Network will also offer a series of women's field hockey matches, wrestling matches, women's and men's soccer matches, baseball games and softball games.

    Specific to Iowa, the Big Ten Network will likely broadcast at least 60 events featuring UI athletic teams including up to five UI football games, as many as 20 UI men's basketball games, as many as six UI women's basketball games, and as many as three UI wrestling events.





    Specific to Iowa, the Big Ten Network will likely broadcast at least 60 events featuring UI athletic teams including up to five UI football games, as many as 20 UI men's basketball games, as many as six UI women's basketball games, and as many as three UI wrestling events.


    The UI will also be provided up to 60 hours for programming about the outstanding students, faculty, staff, alumni, academic programs, cultural programs and ground-breaking research that makes the University of Iowa one of the nations' leading public institutions of higher education.

    The Network will also produce a nightly "ESPN SportsCenter"-like news show in addition to broadcasting "Classic" games, documentaries and features.

    How is it different than what was in place a year ago?

    The Big Ten Network will significantly increase the quantity of intercollegiate athletics events featuring Big Ten teams available on television and dramatically increases the size of the audience that has access to the broadcasts over what was available a year ago.

    In the sports of football and men's basketball, the Network will take events that a year ago would have been televised on a local or regional basis and will make them available to friends, fans, students, alumni, parents of students, faculty and staff living anywhere in the United States.

    In the sport of women's basketball, the Big Ten Network increases by six-fold the number of events televised compared to a year ago and, unlike last year when the events produced for broadcast were available on a limited basis geographically, all 60 women's basketball games to be produced in 2007-08 will be available to a national audience.

    In the sports of women's volleyball, women's field hockey, men's and women's soccer, softball and baseball, the Big Ten Network will offer the first regular season series of live televised events in these sports in the history of the Big Ten.

    With respect to the opportunities for the institution, each institution was provided three minutes of "institutional message time" within each broadcast a year ago that involved their institution. The University of Iowa had access to 69 minutes of statewide and/or regional exposure as a result of "institutional message time." The Big Ten Network alone will offer the UI 60 hours of national television exposure.

    What are the benefits for the University of Iowa?

    The Big Ten Network will provide the University of Iowa unprecedented national television exposure for all of its intercollegiate athletics programs in addition to hours of national television time to use to promote the excellence of the institution, its academic programs, its cultural programs, its research, and its students, faculty, staff and alumni.

    The Big Ten Network will provide more programming involving the University of Iowa than any other television network has at any time. In Iowa, the Big Ten Network is really the University of Iowa Network.





    With respect to the opportunities for the institution, each institution was provided three minutes of "institutional message time" within each broadcast a year ago that involved their institution. The University of Iowa had access to 69 minutes of statewide and/or regional exposure as a result of "institutional message time." The Big Ten Network alone will offer the UI 60 hours of national television exposure.


    The Big Ten Network will provide valuable assistance to the UI in terms of student, faculty, staff and student-athlete recruitment. The Network will also help to build a stronger relationship between friends of the UI and fans of the UI's intercollegiate athletics program and the UI itself and, as these relationships strengthen, the opportunities to positively impact sales of tickets to events, philanthropic support of the institution, and the purchase of officially licensed merchandise grows as well.

    The Big Ten Network will provide financial resources to the UI that will allow the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics - which is 100 percent self-supporting (receives no General Fund support annually) - to continue to provide the highest quality experience for the more than 650 students and student-athletes who are engaged annually in its programs and operations.

    Iowans will benefit from having access to live television coverage of more intercollegiate athletics events featuring teams from the UI and the other 10 Big Ten Conference institutions than ever before in the league's history including access to all UI football and men's basketball events not selected for broadcast by the Big Ten Conference's other television partners.

    Access to the Network by Iowans

    Representatives of the Big Ten Network are currently in the process of securing distribution of the Network. They are offering the Network to every cable system and satellite television provider in the nation.

    In the eight states where Big Ten Conference institutions are located, it is the position of the Big Ten Network and its member institutions that the programming available on the Network is compelling enough to warrant inclusion of the Network on a cable television or a satellite television systems basic level of service.

    Outside the geographic footprint of the Big Ten, the Network invites distributors to move the Network to a "third tier," often as one of several like networks "bundled together" for a modest additional monthly fee.

    On a national basis, the Network has non-exclusive agreements with DirecTV - the nation's largest satellite television provider with more than 15 million subscribers - and AT&T's new "U-Verse." In each case, the Network will be available on the basic level of service.

    Across the state more than 30 cable television systems have agreed to include the Network on its basic level of service beginning with the Network's launch in late August. All of these systems are locally-owned and operated and many are managed by municipalities: Local decision-makers have made a decision that is a good one for their friends, their neighbors...Iowans.



    Click HERE for more information about the Big Ten Network.