Comcast and the Fox Networks Group have settled a high-profile carriage dispute over the Big Ten Network ahead of the September 1 end of the current contract and on the eve of college football season.
Under the new deal, Comcast will continue carrying the network and the companies also reached an agreement for Comcast to continue carrying all of the Big Ten games on FS1.
Earlier this summer, Fox threw a major grenade over the wall during the conference’s annual media day, held in Chicago on the eve of college football season. Mark Silverman, president of Fox Sports National Networks and BTN, delivered a speech aimed at sending a loud and clear signal.
“I am letting everyone know this in order to alert Comcast subscribers of the real possibility that they may lose BTN and Big Ten football games on FS1 this season,” he said. “The good news here is that Comcast will be alone if it decides to drop BTN and Big Ten football games on FS1. BTN and Big Ten football games on FS1 are available on many different TV providers – cable, satellite and new Internet providers – and viewers will have no problem finding an alternate provider in their area.”
The new deal will enable Comcast to continue to offer Big Ten Network to customers in states with Big Ten universities (Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). Subscribers to the company’s Xfinity cable tier (the majority of its cable footprint) who live in Delaware, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Virginia/Beltway area will also continue to receive the network given their proximity to Big Ten schools.
The companies also said in the coming months, customers outside of the Big Ten states will have access to the Big Ten Network as part of Comcast’s Sports and Entertainment package.