Time Warner Adds Big Ten Network, College Football Fans Rejoice

Time Warner Cable has reached a deal to offer the Big Ten Network on expanded basic cable in Big Ten states, says the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

From JS Online:

The agreement came only days before the start of the Big Ten football season. The Big Ten Network has the broadcast rights to this Saturday’s game between the University of Wisconsin and the University of Akron at Camp Randall.

If not for the agreement-in-principle, the game would not have been made available to Time Warner customers.

As recently as Friday, Mark Silverman, the president of the Big Ten Network, said he was pessimistic that a deal could be reached in time for the start of the football season.

For months, the cable giant and the network differed on the merits of a channel devoted to Big Ten sports. The network argued that, particularly in the Big Ten states, there was a demand for Big Ten programming. Time Warner argued that such a channel belonged on a special sports tier, in which customers who wanted Big Ten athletic events to watch should have to pay extra to see them.

With Time Warner now in the Big Ten Network fold, that leaves Charter Communications, which has extensive cable operations in Wisconsin, including Madison, without a deal with the Big Ten Network.

A Charter Communications spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The network, which went on the air last August, has national agreements with Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS and more than 230 smaller cable operators.

We expect a lot of distraught Charter customers to email in the coming days, but it’s still good news for Big Ten fans.

Time Warner adding Big Ten Network [JS Online]

(AP Photo/ Morry Gash)