I realize this is a bit pre-emptive, as I doubt we see a whole lot of Husker spors coverage on Big Ten Network (BTN) before Nebraska officially joins the Big Ten. Nebraska is contractually obligated to the Big 12 through the 2010 season. There's a possibility that Nebraska-owned programming will show up this season, but even if it doesn't, Husker fans may be interested in getting familiar with their new conference before that happens.
BTN just announced a whole bunch of new programming include the following shows:
Big Ten Icons (Tuesdays, 9 PM ET):
The network's fall programming lineup will be headlined by Big Ten Icons. Hosted by legendary sports broadcaster Keith Jackson, Big Ten Icons is the network's most ambitious project to date. The 20-episode series debuts Saturday, Sept. 18, and then airs Tuesdays at 9 PM ET. The program will count down the most iconic figures in Big Ten history, based on their collegiate playing careers. Each 30-minute documentary will spotlight one Big Ten Icon. Numbers 50 through 21 will be revealed on www.BigTenNetwork.com in advance of the program's television debut.
The Next Level (Thursdays, 8 PM ET):
Each episode of The Next Level, which debuts on Sept. 9, will spend a day with former Big Ten stars to learn about their lives in professional sports and society. Lavar Arrington, Dallas Clark, Joe Girardi, Dhani Jones, Muhsin Muhammad, Nick Swisher and others also will re-live their time on campus and share their personal stories of how competing in the Big Ten helped shape their professional careers.
Big Ten Film Vault (Tuesdays, 8 PM ET):
With hours of rare footage, some of which has never aired on national television, the Big Ten Film Vault debuts on Sept. 7 and will feature yearbook and highlight shows from the 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's. Fans will see rare mic'ed up footage of Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and other Big Ten coaches. The narration for these shows was originally recorded by broadcasting legends such as Chick Hearn, Jack Brickhouse, Tom Harmon and Bill Flemming. The show will be hosted by Michigan alum and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf.
Imagine shows like these including Nebraska, and you get an idea on why you might be excited about the future.
No doubt there will be plenty of information available through Nebraska's regular media outlets over the next year on how to get the Big Ten Network.... in Nebraska. For out of state fans, I promise that CN will stay on top of the situation and assist you in figuring out how you're going to get all the Husker sports you can find.
Hate to sound like a shill, but I've had Dish Network for over ten years now. Originally choose them over my cable provider because the cable provider had a habit of opting for non-Nebraska games. I've had few complaints about the service.
Despite the constant offers for new DirecTV subscribers, I've stuck with Dish because it seems like DirecTV is geared more towards professional sports fans. I don't watch a lot of pro sports other than the NFL. Plus, Dish offers a multi-sports package for $5.99 a month that includes all of the Fox Sports channels (your normal subscription provides only the Fox Sports channel for your region/area), BTN, ESPN Classic, Comcast Sports channels, NFL Network, NFL Redzone, NHL Network, and some lesser-known channels such as Sun Sports and MSG.
Bottom line - the Dish Network Multi-sports package has a gob of value (and I'm not even being paid to say this, which is kind of a shame, actually).
CN has already established some contacts at BTN, and I asked them for an update on how Husker fans can get their network. Here's some information you might find valuable:
Here's some information on where to find the Big Ten Network:
The easiest way to find the Big Ten Network is to enter your zip code and cable/satellite provider at www.bigtennetwork.com/channelfinder.
Many Husker fans around the country may already receive the Big Ten Network through their current cable/satellite provider.
The network is currently available to about 75 million households in the United States and Canada, and has more than 300 cable/satellite affiliates including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Mediacom, Charter, Cablevision, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS and many more.
Inside the Big Ten's current eight states, the network is available on cable on expanded basic cable packages. Outside of the eight states, the level of service can vary. Channel numbers also vary by service area.
Here's a breakdown of the largest national providers as it stands today:
DIRECTV, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS subscribers around the country - no matter where they llve - already receive the Big Ten Network. Those channel numbers are 610 for DIRECTV, 650 for AT&T U-Verse, 85 for Verizon FiOS (585 for HD).
DISH Network subscribers inside the Big Ten current markets (so, excluding Nebraska) already receive the Big Ten Network on channel 439 (the HD channel is 9500). If you're outside of the current Big Ten markets, you must subscribe to Dish Network's Multi-Sport Pack.
Some Nebraska specific info... Cox subscribers in Omaha currently receive the network on their Sports and Information Tier on channel 233. Cable One subscribers in Sioux City receive the network on their expanded basic cable package on channel 78. And as I mentioned earlier, Nebraska residents who subscribe to DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS also receive the network.
A lot more information can be found on the BTN website.
Here are a couple of useful links:
Frequently Asked Questions: