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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Big Ten Network Launches Aug. 30

The Big Ten Network today finally revealed when in "late August" it will lanch -- on Thursday, Aug. 30 -- two days before the Big Ten football season opens. (Duh!) The new sports network will provide regional coverage of games on Saturday, Sept. 1, including Youngstown State at Ohio State (a great game, right?) In prime-time, the Big Ten Network will have Bowling Green at Minnesota and Indiana State at Indiana.

The Big Ten says it has deals with 75 cable systems -- and a national deal with DirecTV -- but not Time Warner. Says Karen Baxter, local Time Warner public affairs director: "We are currently in negotiations with Big Ten Network and examining the value of its content. We know these games are very important to a segment of our customers. We believe that the best place for this network is on a sports tier, so that customers who chose to pay more for this highly priced niche sports programming have access to it. We do know that OSU fans will be able to watch matchups against Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2."

Insight folks also "are talking with the BTN, but have not made any decisions yet," says John Dobken, Insight spokesman.

Read the Big Ten release at

"Highly priced niche sports programming?" Sounds like they're bracing us for a steep fee for the BTN... And the price would go up more if TWC adds the NFL Network? Which of those two would you rather have? And how much more would you be willing to pay?


at 7/02/2007 10:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rather have NFL network. I'd say an extra 5 a month for the rate fee.

at 7/02/2007 10:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey kiese Didn't summer sweeps start this past thursday. Could you please provide us with more info.

at 7/02/2007 11:12 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me the NFL Network any day. I love college football, but not enough to pay for Bowling Green-Minnesota. Eff that!

at 7/02/2007 1:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am your typical Ohio State fan....I would pay a good chunk of change for the Big 11 network, But I am furious with the Big Ten for pulling this stupid money grab. They know they have Time Warner over a barrel in much of Ohio and some folks (myself included) are going to be FURIOUS if we cannot see the games because of this. I would just encourage people to place the blame where it belongs, on the group that is upsetting the balance, the Big Ten.

I could care less about the NFL network or for what will be 80% of the programming on the Big Ten network for that matter.

at 7/02/2007 7:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Time Warner customer - but if they do not add the Big Ten Network by 8/15 - I'll be switching back to DirecTV.

at 7/02/2007 8:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A non-pro team trying to grasp revenue from a top tier subscription channel down right stinks. Sports are getting destroyed by Ad revenue.

at 7/02/2007 10:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

TWCincy is an absolute joke.

"We're evaluating..."
"We're in negotiations..."

Four sports channels are needed: 1) Versus (Carries most NHL Hockey-won contract over ESPN)

2) NFL Network

3) BigTen Network. TWC had best not to tick off OSU and the alum

4) ESPNU (The day that TWC really starts airing this is the day when Jennell Walton and Tara Packmeyer both learn the power of punctuation in a sentence.)

at 7/03/2007 8:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't blame the BigTen for upsetting the "balance." If the "balance" is getting only the games the ABC/Disney execs in NY wants us to see then by all means, upset the balance.

These games might have been on ESPN+ if they had been broadcast at all, requiring many to pay extra to see them. The games certainly would not have been in high definition (the games will be in HD on the BigTen Network). Like many other fans, I'd rather have more football on TV (and in HD) than less (and not in HD).

Somehow DirecTV has added the NFL and the BigTen networks without increasing costs -- why can't cable? If space on the expanded basic is an issue, why not move lesser watched channels to the digital tier (like the shopping networks and/or Lifetime/Oxygen/Spike, etc.)? Heck, cable should just go all digital so we can have more HD stations. Any way you look at it, cable continues to fail to meet the demands of its customers, and this is just another example.

at 7/03/2007 9:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Summer sweeps did start thursday - but no one really pays attention do them or does anything special because summer viewer patterns are atypical at best.

at 7/03/2007 12:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second getting Versus. Hello - Tour de France?! Not in this town w/o a sat dish... Which I'm thinking about getting the longer I'm a TW customer.

at 7/03/2007 1:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to TWC, they call it the Big Ten Network because only 10 people are watching it.....

at 7/03/2007 2:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should my cable bill go up to subsidize fans of Big 11 college football who are too cheap to shell out for ESPN Gameplan?

I couldn't care less about the College of Columbus or any of the other programs in the conference, and those compelling matchups that do occur are already on my basic cable.

If you want more Big 11 football, you should have to pay. I don't ask you to pay so I can watch NFL Sunday Ticket, don't ask me to pay so you can watch some mid-major get drilled on the opening weekend.

Hats off to TW for standing up to these knuckleheads.

at 7/03/2007 3:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

so far during summer sweeps news 5 has the most viewers at 5pm and 11pm

at 7/04/2007 10:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that channel 5 with the highest ratings in New York or Chicago - because the one here does NOT have the highest ratings. Maybe compared to itself in May it has higher ratings, but it is not beating 9 or 12 right now.

at 7/04/2007 6:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

if i can pay for people to watch crap like lifetime, oxygen, discovery, then people can pay for me to watch nfl network, big ten network, espnu, and versus.

at 7/05/2007 7:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news from the evil empire on when we will get FoxSports Ohio in HD?

at 7/05/2007 12:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe that person is saying that of all the parts of the day, more people are tuned into 5 at 5pm and 11pm compared to the 5:30 and 6pm shows on 5. What a crock. Next thing that person will post is "that's in demos" even though those won't come out for weeks.

at 7/05/2007 2:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Summer sweeps start today 7/05 and go through 8/01.

at 7/05/2007 5:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm no expert, but i'm guessing whoever was posting about 5 was trying to get you worked up....obviously it worked.
Nice Job John.

at 7/05/2007 10:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Find out what the deal is on this:

WLW ran a commercial during the 7:30am half hour, advertising VERSUS on Time Warner, complete with their phone number. Sounded very legit.

So I called TWC this eve...they clearly said "that wasn't OUR commercial, we are not airing VERSUS". Is Versus running spots to persuade subscribers to request the network or is this another TWC blunder?

at 7/27/2007 7:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Ten Network site says it has an agreement with ATT.I get my Dish Network through ATT,but when talking to Dish Network people they are clueless.As far as I can tell Direc TV maybe getting a lot of new customers just so we can see the Ohio State opener....I'm not willing to pay anymore money for anything,so I'll just keep jumping back and forth between satelite providers.They love having you back after you leave them with all kinds of temporary freebies.The problem is take care of the customers you have at the time you have them,and don't wait till they leave to do it.
All of these providers make enough money off all uf us already,one more channel won't break them.

at 9/07/2007 7:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It stinks having to go somewhere to watch OSU now. The only place I have found to carry it is Quaker Steak & Lube in Milford. They also had some really nice beer prices during the Youngstown State game. Thanks to money hungry Universities, that's where I'll be every Saturday.

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