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The Big Ten Network: Myths and Facts

More than 20 games featuring Coach Todd Lickliter's Iowa Hawkeyes will likely appear on the Big Ten Network in 2007-08.

More than 20 games featuring Coach Todd Lickliter's Iowa Hawkeyes will likely appear on the Big Ten Network in 2007-08.

  • The Big Ten Network: Nuts and Bolts
  • The Big Ten Network: What the Hawkeyes Are Saying
  • The Big Ten Network: Newspaper Says 'Yes'
  • The Big Ten Network: Big Ten Fact Sheet

    Much has been written and said about the Big Ten Network since its introduction in the spring of 2006. The following is designed to help Iowans understand what is myth and what is fact.

    MYTH: The Big Ten Network will not include programming of interest to Iowans.

    FACT: For Iowans, the Big Ten Network is the "University of Iowa Network," offering more "black-and-gold programming" than any other television network ever.





    FACT: For Iowans, the Big Ten Network is the "University of Iowa Network," offering more "black-and-gold programming" than any other television network ever.


    Among the more than 400 live events to be featured on the Network will be more than 60 that include University of Iowa teams including up to five UI football games, more than 20 UI men's basketball games, up to six UI women's basketball games, as many as three UI wrestling events. The Network will also provide nightly news about the Iowa Hawkeyes during a daily studio show, will feature UI student-athletes in special pre-game and post-game shows during the football and basketball seasons, and will be a source for the weekly "Iowa Football with Kirk Ferentz" and "Iowa Basketball with Todd Lickliter" shows. The Big Ten Network will also showcase the students, faculty, staff, academic programs, cutting-edge research and more of what makes the University of Iowa one of the nation's premiere public institutions of higher education during the 60 hours of programming produced by the UI.

    MYTH: Few Iowans watch University of Iowa athletic events on television.

    FACT: University of Iowa football and men's basketball events are among the most popular television programs of television viewers across the state of Iowa. For example, last November in central Iowa more than 50 percent of the houses with a television set turned on when two UI football games were being broadcast live on television were, in fact, watching the UI football game. And, in eastern Iowa, that percentage grew to 60 percent.

    MYTH: The Big Ten Network is one of the most expensive television networks made available to cable and satellite television providers.

    FACT: The Big Ten Network cost is less than two-thirds that of comparable regional sports networks. Nationally, more than 60 different national television networks cost more than the Big Ten Network.

    MYTH: Cable and satellite television providers must pay the Big Ten Network $1.10 per subscriber.

    FACT: The asking price for the Big Ten Network is $1.10 and is only applicable to cable and satellite television providers who have subscribers that live in the eight state geographic footprint of the Big Ten Conference. The asking price outside the eight-state footprint is 10 cents. Consistent with other television networks, the price a cable or satellite television provider pays the Big Ten Network is negotiable.

    MYTH: Cable and satellite television providers must pass the cost of the Big Ten Network on to their customers.

    FACT: This is a decision made by the cable and satellite television providers; cable and satellite television providers do not automatically have to pass the expense on to their customers. These providers could use the Big Ten Network to generate new revenue by gaining more customers, selling local advertising time, providing HD television programming to those customers interested in paying for this premium programming, and providing "Classic" games "on-demand" for those customers interested in watching a "Classic" Iowa football or men's basketball or women's basketball game like they would order a "pay-per-view" movie.

    MYTH: Only a few will choose to watch the Big Ten Network, so they should pay extra to make that choice.

    FACT: Cable and satellite television providers typically include 60 to 70 networks in their basic level of service and customers do not have the opportunity to choose any of those networks. The Big Ten Network believes strongly that the programming available on the Network will be of significant interest to a significant number of Iowans and, therefore, Iowans should receive the Big Ten Network as of the 60 to 70 networks they would receive in their basic level of service provided by their cable or satellite television provider.

    More than 30 locally-owned and locally-operated cable television providers across the state of Iowa and the nation's No. 1 satellite television provider - DirecTV - agree with the Big Ten Network and will provide the Big Ten Network to their customers on their basic level of service beginning Aug. 30 when the Big Ten Network begins operation.





    FACT: University of Iowa football and men's basketball events are among the most popular television programs of television viewers across the state of Iowa. For example, last November in central Iowa more than 50 percent of the houses with a television set turned on when two UI football games were being broadcast live on television were, in fact, watching the UI football game. And, in eastern Iowa, that percentage grew to 60 percent.


    MYTH: The Big Ten Network will make the Big Ten Conference rich.

    FACT: The Big Ten Network will pay a guarantee rights fee to the Big Ten Conference for the opportunity to operate the Big Ten Network. That rights fee will be split evenly between the 11 Big Ten Conference institutions. The UI expects to receive $3.5 million in 2007-08 from the Big Ten Conference as its portion of the guarantee rights fee. The UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will use that revenue to pay expenses associated with the operation of its 24 varsity sports programs, the renovation of existing UI athletics facilities like historic Kinnick Stadium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena, construction of new UI athletics facilities like a new boat house for the UI rowing team, and construction of campus facilities like the new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, a facility that will be used by all UI students, faculty, staff and the residents of the greater Iowa City community.

    MYTH: The Big Ten Network will make the University of Iowa rich.

    FACT: The UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has been charged by the leadership of the University of Iowa to be 100 percent self-sustaining: To generate every dollar required to operate the intercollegiate athletics program. The UI Athletics Department will use the revenue from the Big Ten Network to meet that commitment to the UI, the state of Iowa, UI students, UI faculty, UI staff and UI alumni. By doing so, every dollar the UI receives from the General Fund will be directed to the academic mission of the University and not to expenses associated with the operation of the intercollegiate athletics program.



    Click HERE for more information about the Big Ten Network.