Big Ten Network Nails Mediacom Deal

Aug 28, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Suddenly, the Big Ten Network is very popular with cable operators.
After being shunned by most cable operators during its first year, the Big Ten Network racked up its third major carriage deal this week as Mediacom Communications announced reaching an agreement with the channel. Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications started waving Big Ten pennants earlier this week.
Cox Communications also said Thursday it would launch the Big Ten Network in Ohio, home of the Buckeyes. Cox serves almost 150,000 in 10 suburbs on Cleveland’s west side.
The Big Ten football season starts this weekend.
The Big Ten broke through the cable’s defensive line in June when it reached a deal with the nation’s largest operator, Comcast. Until then, most cable operators wanted to include Big Ten Network in a package of sports channels for which subscribers would pay extra.
The Comcast deal called for Big Ten Network to be carried on expanded basic tiers in markets with Big Ten schools for one year and the operator pays about 70 cents per subscriber per month. After a year, the operator could move the channel based on a formula that takes into account the penetration levels of other tiers. Comcast is free to put the network on any tier it chose—or not to carry it at all—outside Big Ten markets.
Big Ten Network had been seeking basic tier coverage in Big Ten markets at $1 a subscriber and a smaller fee outside Big Ten markets.
The Comcast agreement served as a template for subsequent deals.
Analysts said cable operators’ decisions not to carry the Big Ten Network was driving subscribers to satellite TV service, which made deals with the network.
“Cox is pleased to be able to offer the Big Ten Network,” said Anne Doris, VP and general manager of Cox Cleveland. “The Buckeye State has many Big Ten fans, and we worked diligently to negotiate the best deal for our customers.”
Big Ten Network is a joint venture of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks Group.
(Editor: Baumann)
(3:10 p.m.: Added fourth, 10th paragraphs)


  1. Warner was backed into a corner in Columbus…DirecTV and Dish were siphoning off all the true Buckeye fans with the Big 10 Network. Warner stopped the bleeding before they lost their franchise agreement with Columbus. Was it worth it?

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