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Thread: Comcast, BTN agree to deal

  1. #1
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Comcast, BTN agree to deal

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...11/1004/SPORTS


    Comcast deal covers basics
    State viewers can watch conference sports on expanded basic cable -- for now

    By Mark Alesia
    mark.alesia@indystar.com

    After two years of often acrimonious negotiations, the Big Ten Network and Comcast announced a deal Thursday that will place the channel on expanded basic cable in Indiana, giving far more viewers easy access to many conference sports events.

    Comcast, which has more than 800,000 subscribers in the state, is the largest cable company in Indianapolis, the state and the nation.

    It will carry the Big Ten Network on expanded basic cable from Aug. 15 until the spring of 2009. After that, Comcast has the option of moving the channel to digital cable -- but not a sports tier.

    Digital cable costs about $15 more per month. More than 60 percent of Comcast's subscribers in Indiana have digital, according to company spokesman Mark Apple.

    The sports tier, available only to digital subscribers, is an additional $4 per month.

    Financial details and the exact length of the "long-term" deal were not disclosed. The Associated Press reported that Comcast will pay about 70 cents per month per subscriber. The network originally asked for $1.10 within the Big Ten states.

    Asked if subscribers would see increased rates because of the deal, Apple said, "We have not yet decided what effect this will have on pricing. We'll be making that decision in the coming months."

    The placement on expanded basic for the upcoming football and basketball seasons includes Comcast systems in the Big Ten's geographic area, except Philadelphia, which will carry the channel on digital.

    Outside the Big Ten's geographic area, Comcast can place the channel on any level of service, or none.

    The Big Ten Network is available on both satellite providers, DirecTV and Dish. But until the Comcast deal, it had failed to make major inroads on cable television.

    Companies such as Time Warner, which serves Terre Haute, Ind., and Bright House, which serves parts of the Indianapolis area and Marion, Ind., don't offer the Big Ten Network.

    Network officials have said they believe that once a deal was done with Comcast, other large cable companies would follow.

    "We are engaged in talks with them and we're hopeful for a deal," Time Warner spokeswoman Robyn Watson said.

    "The Comcast deal is the Comcast deal."

    Time Warner is negotiating on behalf of Bright House, which has the right to opt in to any deal, Bright House spokesman Joe Durkin said.

    Big Ten Network spokeswoman Elizabeth Conlisk said negotiations are ongoing with Time Warner.

    The Big Ten Network has been controversial since it was announced in June 2006 and launched on television in August 2007.

    Although the league's best games were still available on traditional television outlets such as ABC/ESPN and CBS -- and will continue to be -- numerous fans in Indiana missed other games to which they had easy access in the past.

    The dispute was over the Big Ten Network's demand to be carried on expanded basic cable within the league's geographic area. Comcast wanted it on a sports tier.

    Comcast said it was trying to keep the price of cable down by not forcing everyone to receive an expensive sports channel. The Big Ten said Comcast and other cable companies abused their power by giving favored placement to inferior networks they own.

    The battle grew ugly, with both sides accusing the other of greed in newspapers, television, radio and the Web. Many fans voiced their displeasure with Comcast and the league.

    Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said in a statement Thursday, "We know that these past few months have been difficult for many of our fans, and we're pleased that everyone involved was flexible enough to do what it takes to reach an agreement that is fair and reasonable."

    The Big Ten owns 51 percent of the Big Ten Network. Fox owns 49 percent.
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  2. #2
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comcast, BTN agree to deal

    We knew this a couple days ago, but I figure with as much as we've talked about this over the last year, I might as well throw this up.

    So, thoughts? I guess it's a good compromise between two companies who are both looking to screw the consumer. $.70 is still obscene when I believe all the ESPN channels together are $1. And digital-only doesn't mean much when that's 60% of the subscriber base and rising.

    Oh well, at least I'll get to see all those IU basketball games next year.
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    Default Re: Comcast, BTN agree to deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    We knew this a couple days ago, but I figure with as much as we've talked about this over the last year, I might as well throw this up.

    So, thoughts? I guess it's a good compromise between two companies who are both looking to screw the consumer. $.70 is still obscene when I believe all the ESPN channels together are $1. And digital-only doesn't mean much when that's 60% of the subscriber base and rising.

    Oh well, at least I'll get to see all those IU basketball games next year.
    Yeah, now you can actually see Purdue lose in Assembly Hall again.

    “WE NEVER SURRENDER, WE NEVER GIVE UP, WE KEEP ATTACKING”- Frank Vogel
    momentarygodsblog.com https://twitter.com/momentarygods

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    Default Re: Comcast, BTN agree to deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
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    Yeah, now you can actually see Purdue lose in Assembly Hall again.
    Tough talk when rivals has us ranked 4th in the country and sportsline has us 5th. Of course, if we only play you guys once again it won't be at Assembly, so we might just dodge that bullet. Whew.
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    Default Re: Comcast, BTN agree to deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Tough talk when rivals has us ranked 4th in the country and sportsline has us 5th. Of course, if we only play you guys once again it won't be at Assembly, so we might just dodge that bullet. Whew.
    Yeah, you guys aren't a top 5 team in the nation.

    “WE NEVER SURRENDER, WE NEVER GIVE UP, WE KEEP ATTACKING”- Frank Vogel
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