Big Ten Conference Football Media Days

Tuesday July 26, 2016

Mark Silverman

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by BTN president Mark Silverman.

MARK SILVERMAN: Good morning, everybody. I hope everyone is doing well. The Big Ten Network is now about to launch our tenth year on the air coming this fall. We're in over 60 million homes.

We've got a great football schedule that's been determined so far this year. And we had a couple new things that I'd like to discuss with all of you in the next couple of minutes.

Regarding our football schedule, we've already announced our prime time games. We have 12 games in our prime time schedule. And weeks one through three this year we really have some really attractive matchups. What's most interesting to us is within Power Five conferences, we have more matchups within the Power Five our first three weeks than three of the college sports networks in our competitive set -- ESPNU, SEC Net, Pac-12 Net combined.

And also if you look at teams that finished ranked in the AP poll in the top 15 last year, we have more matchups from those schools than those other three networks combined again. And my point is not all college sports networks are the same.

We really feel between our schedule, our programming, our coverage, our distribution that BTN is just at a different level than other college sports networks.

So we're really looking forward to bringing Big Ten football to everybody this coming fall. We've done a lot new this year on BTN. Starting with some new talent. Joining our game coverage crew will be Mike Pereira from Fox Sports. He'll be doing our prime time games as our rules analyst. Mike is the leader in what he does. And we're thrilled to add him to our team that will include Matt Millen and also Glen Mason as our lead college football analyst.

In our studio this year, we're also adding some new talent. Chris Spielman, Robert Smith will be joining our studio team, which includes Dave Wannstedt and Chuck Long, J Leman, Rick Pizzo and a host of others as we look to expand our studio coverage. We'll be doing more studio programming this year than we've ever done in our history.

And our core team of Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Dave Revsine will be heading out on Monday, August 8th to our spring training camp tour, as they load the bus. It's always a big day at BTN when the guys get on the bus and begin their journey around to all the Big Ten schools and begin our live BTN coverage starting on Monday, August 8th.

Also joining the talent roster, at least for a day, will be Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs. Kyle will be our grand Marshall of our BTN Big Ten 10K race, Saturday, August 6, running along the shores of lake Michigan. Our Big Ten 10K race last year featured 14,000 runners from across all 50 states, from various countries as Big Ten fans look to unite here in Chicago. It's a great race and an even better tailgate party afterwards. So we're all thrilled to have Kyle as a grand marshall this year, following the footsteps of Eddie George and Archie Griffin in years prior.

Also new this year on BTN, we have a new app. BTN2Go, which is close to 3 million downloads, we're going to be transforming it into your school's app. And we think this is going to be a great advancement for all of the schools' fans. You'll be able to elect your favorite school, and then that app will become targeted and all the video content, all the scores, highlights, games are going to be earmarked for exactly the school that you're most interested in.

We think it's going to be a great place to stop every morning as you look at your various apps and get the latest in your school's coverage. And that will be launching the last week prior to football season that's coming up shortly.

Also new is we have a bunch of new shows this year. And leading off with Green and White Days, following Mark Dantonio's squad as they look to defend their Big Ten championship this fall.

This is season two of a series that started with Urban Meyer's Ohio State Buckeyes last year. And we're thrilled to be able to be brought into Coach Dantonio's team, show everything going on as the Spartans look to defend their crown in late August as well.

Couple other new shows Campus Eats, which is going to be a look at the unique and iconic restaurants in all the Big Ten towns. I would imagine many of you visit these different places when you go visit different Big Ten campuses. We'll do an eight-episode show about that program.

Then we also have Sports Light with Mike Hall. This is going to be a little bit of a different show for us. It's a late night show, a lighter look at the Big Ten. Mike will have correspondents in LA and New York that show off the national nature of the Big Ten. Sort of an offbeat, humorous mindset. So we're really excited about that show. Something a little different from what we've done previously.

And finally today, I just want to mention our biggest programming initiative in our history, BTN tailgate will be launching this fall, a 90-minute show, brought to you live from the college, one of our colleges each morning.

The show will start on September 24th with Wisconsin at Michigan State, and we're going to be able to show all the pageantry, the excitement, the bands, the cheerleaders, all the events happening at a Big Ten school that makes what we believe Big Ten content and games so attractive to the fan base.

We'll be there. We're doing a ten-episode show. We've been looking at doing this for years. We finally think this is the right year to do it. We've got a bunch of great games. We've designated the first few weeks where we're going to be. And the last few weeks we'll visit whichever schools we think are featuring the most attractive games that our fans are going to be most interested in seeing.

The crew is going to be Dave Revsine, Anthony Adams and Gerry DiNardo. Anthony is joining BTN, a former Chicago Bear and Penn Stater. And we look forward to being on every campus. And we really believe that this show will be the way that Big Ten fans are going to want to start their Saturday mornings as they gear up to watch their games.


Q. With 14 schools in the Big Ten and only so many windows on a Saturday to program them, and ESPN, ABC the other broadcast partners have their windows as well, has there been any talk at all about possibly going to a weeknight game each week? The NFL has Thursday. You probably wouldn't go against high schools on Friday. But is there any discussion about Big Ten Network doing a weekly Tuesday, Wednesday night game to move some of those games off Saturday and create another valuable programming thing for your network?
MARK SILVERMAN: As far as I know, there's been no discussion about Tuesday or Wednesday games. The conference sets the schedule. I think that could be a question more appropriate for Commissioner Delany as he comes on after me.

The network, we will televise games whenever they're set. But that scheduling element itself is just handled at the conference level.

Q. (Question off microphone)?
MARK SILVERMAN: I think the reality of a Tuesday or Wednesday football game is probably a little beyond -- sure it sounds great to have a football game on Tuesday or Wednesday. I don't know how that would work, just in terms of how the teams practice, how they prepare.

There's a lot of great things that would be great for the network, but when you work into the world of programs and coaches and missing school and a lot of other elements, it seems from where I sit extremely unlikely we'll be able to do anything in the middle of the week.

Q. Revenue from media rights has been expanding dramatically. Can you tell us how much the Big Ten Network provides for each -- let's just say last season, last school year -- how much did you actually provide for each Big Ten school?
MARK SILVERMAN: We're not permitted to divulge that information. I do believe that some of the schools have that information available if you work with the universities. But the network is a confidential -- it's a private entity formed by Fox and the Big Ten. So we're not at liberty to divulge the financial information. But it's been written about quite a bit. The numbers out there seem to be in the ballpark of what is accurate.

But I do have -- I've read many of you that get information from the schools, which is probably the better place to go, than from us. I believe not all schools are sharing exactly the same -- especially some of the newer schools that may be ramping up what they're receiving from the Big Ten.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #188 at 2016-07-26 16:55:00 GMT

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