Friday, May 25, 2007

Big Ten Network Chief Gets His Rope Pulled

Mark Silverman, president of the Big Ten Network, conducted a chat Thursday to answer questions about the network, which is scheduled to begin telecasting in August. It's part of the network's media blitz that is designed to win over fans, who then pressure local cable companies into carrying the network. The cable company caves and raises rates, thus passing the cost onto fans. Most of the money, of course, ends up in the pocket of the Big Ten.

Fans never get it and fall for it hook, line and sinker. However, one fan who identified himself as Billy from Cicero knows the game, and he somehow had his prank question get posted during the chat. We suspect the Big Ten will eventually realize this was a prank and will edit the transcript, so we saved a copy for the world to see. Judging from his response, we're not sure Silverman knew what was going on.

Thanks to Kevin of We Are Penn State.

Update: As predicted, transcript has been edited and the question and answer removed.


Jason110 said...

This whole "Big Ten Network" idea kind of makes me sick. There are already ENOUGH sports networks in the United States. We have those Fox Sports Networks for each region, ESPN, ESPN2, and countless other networks for niche sports (NFL Network, NBA Network, Golf, Tennis, etc.). Cable providers have already maxed out on their sports provisions, so I don't know how an additional network would make it onto the standard channel lineup. Instead, viewers will likely have to pay for an expensive sports package. And also, what will the network air during the summer, when school's not in session? Highlights of coach's shows?

Based on the chat transcript, the president of the Big Ten Network says they will honor all other commitments and still show the same number of games on ESPN and CBS. Let's remember that this is something the NFL Network said when they founded their network. And now look: Regular season NFL games are beign shown ONLY on that network, so it did take away from other broadcasters.

In my opinion, Something must be done to reign in the excess sports networks, but as long as it fills someone's coffers, I don't see it happening.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of that little thing called the "Free Market Economy," Jason?

There are "ENOUGH sports networks in the United States?" Enough for you? Don't you think the market will decide, like in most things in this country? Where if there's not a demand for a product, it goes away? And if there is, it has a chance?

"Something must be done to reign in the excess sports networks?" Why? Because YOU say so?

The free market decides when something is excess - not you.

EJHill said...

The thing to really keep an eye on is whether or not the FCC will mandate ala carte pricing for cable and satellite services. Surveys have shown that, in the average household that receives more than 100 channels, only 15 of those are watched on a regular basis. If people are allowed to purchase only what they want to watch, look for dozens of these niche channels to go belly up. They survive on the fees they get from the cable/sat companies NOT the advertising dollars.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Billy from Cicero was also a fan of the "Jim Shorts Cavalcade of Sports...For You" on SportsChannel. Great show...great joke, and I personally can't wait for the Big Ten Network. Pretty soon all of the major conferences will have their own network.

Donnie said...

I'll take ANY alternative to ESPN and ESPN2 any day!

Hank Worrell said...

I'm all for the Big Ten network as long as they display a strong emphasis on women's volleyball. And rope climbing. Though, woudn't showing middle schoolers climbing rope be a recruiting violation? Better get Roger Goodell on that, ASAP

Your Humble Correspondent said...

All I know is that the Indiana - Indiana State football game will be on in HD!

bdot said...

I'm all for the Little Eleven network as long as they only show games involving teams that are not in that conference.