A big thing I have to put up with in Baton Rouge is hearing about the SEC TV deal, how much money it is, nation wide coverage, etc. I was a little frustrated about the Big Ten Network in its first couple seasons (especially when the MSU-Michigan game was put on BTN and not ABC). Considering the long term I think creating the Big Ten Network may have been one of the best sports TV ideas in history.
Television changes dramatically over the years, just look at what TV was in 1995 and look at it now. With Google looking into creating a high speed-high volume carrying infrastructure for the internet I believe there will be a heavy move towards using the internet as a carrier of television (as in showing live broadcasts such as NFL Sunday Ticket and NHL Center Ice online). Isn't it better to own your own television network rather than selling yourself off? As the Big Ten Networks revenues expand so does the pay out to the programs. Whether or not ESPN receives larger revenues the SEC teams will not be receiving a larger check, they are fixed at $2.25 billion to be paid out over 15 years to 12 different schools.
I believe the Big Ten schools are in for a big pay day as television is going to move onto smart phones and computers, expanding into any household that has an internet connection. In the coming years broadcast regions will be eliminated, allowing anyone to watch live anything, anywhere.