Big Ten Network Launches on Insight
If you want to see the Big Ten Network premiering Thursday, you'll have to have DirecTV or live in Kentucky and have Insight cable.
Insight Communications announced late this afternoon that it will carry the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m. on Channel 527. It will be on the digital standard tier, not an extra-pay sports tier (which is what Time Warner wants). So again Insight is far ahead of Time Warner in sports channels. It got ESPNU before Time Wartner, and has the NFL Network, Fox Sports Ohio Reds games in HDTV and now the Big Ten Network.
Insight also will offer a free preview for the first two weeks on Channel 99.
"We know we have a lot of Big Ten fans here who want the channel," says Maggie Woolf, Insight's Edgewood-based marketing director. Insight has about 86,000 customers in Northern Kentucky.
DirecTV has the Big Ten Network because the satellite service is owned by News Corporation (Fox), which has a substantial investment in the BTN.
The Big Ten Network promises 39 football games, starting with Ohio State-Youngstown State at 1 p.m. Saturday. It also will have 140 men's basketball games, 55 women's basketball games, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, wrestling and baseball.
By the way, Time Warner's local spokeswoman Karen Baxter says her company is still in negotiations with the Big Ten, but she doesn't expect an agreement before the 8 p.m. Thursday debut.... or anytime soon.