Potential television windfall driving Big Ten's latest expansion efforts

According to a television executive familiar with the Northeast corridor, the move could ultimately be worth as much as $200 million annually for the Big Ten in cable subscription fees. This is a Pollyannaish figure that's unlikely to ever materialize, but it shows the scope of the potential value. The interesting part, considering the current cable climate, is that the potential move also comes with considerable risk.

There are an estimated 15 million available households in the New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. markets. If the Big Ten Network got on basic cable in all those places, which is an enormous long shot, the per-household figure by the time Rutgers and Maryland joined the league would project in the neighborhood of $1.25 per month. That would equate to about $200 million per year.

Pete Thamel





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