The Midwest’s long regional nightmare is over. Time Warner joins up:
Time Warner Cable and the Big Ten Network have ended more than a year of contract negotiations just in time for a telecast of Ohio State University’s first football game of the season on Aug. 30.
Charter does as well:
Charter Communications Inc. and the Big Ten Network say they've reached a distribution agreement.
The multiyear deal announced Wednesday allows the St. Louis-based cable company to carry the network's programming throughout Big Ten territory, including systems in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and northern Illinois.
With the much publicized Comcast deal and a unconfirmed-but-likely agreement with Mediacom, the Big Ten Network is nearing saturation levels in the footprint. After all the huffing and puffing from the media, fans, and partisans on both sides of the carriage debate, Jim Delany’s diabolical plan has worked.
It cost us a year of irritation and about 70 cents a month. In return, we get
- vast amounts of HD programming, even when Minnesota plays Northwestern
- much better coverage of basketball and other lesser sports
- a comprehensive survey of the various horrible commercials put out by the conference’s alumni associations
- all the Dinardo you can eat
- paid cash money homes.
Thanks to Big Ten Network and the conference’s unique contract with ESPN/ABC, which assures that any non-night game on an ESPN network is nationally televised, you can see ever football game your team plays—even if it’s against Cal-Poly on the last week of the year. No pay per view. No Gameplan. No syndicated Michigan State games at noon occupying otherwise interesting slots on ABC.
And it’s keeping us ahead of the Joneses even with the SEC’s mondo ESPN contract:
Under the new deal, that annual number could leap to as much as $15 million per school, which is just shy of the projected average revenue Big Ten schools get from their TV deals each year.
It is difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison between the two conferences because of the incongruity of the length of the deals and their escalating values. But the Big Ten Network could annually pay its schools an average up to $10.2 million each over the 25-year term of its deal with the Big Ten. The deal started this past year with a payment of $6 million to each school and the number could escalate each year, depending on the network’s revenue.
The Big Ten Conference’s 10-year deals with CBS and ESPN will produce an average of $9.3 million for each school.
So, like… holy crap. It worked. The Big Ten monetized the hell out of content it was getting very little for, got a ton more games into everyone’s home, and provided gainful employment to poor Gerry Dinardo.
This is going to be weird, but here goes:
Thanks, Jim Delany!
Now, no offense, but please refrain from making public statements about anything.