Comcast is dropping the Big Ten Network in markets where the conference’s teams do not play.
The cable operator, however, said the sports channel will stay in the lineup in Big Ten markets, which include Washington/Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago and parts of Pennsylvania, among others.
A Comcast spokeswoman tells TVAnswerman.com that the channel will be pulled in non-Big Ten markets over the next few weeks.
“We regularly evaluate our channel lineups and sometimes make changes to ensure we’re offering customers a wide variety of content at the best value,” the spokeswoman said. “e look at a number of factors when making these decisions, including the costs programmers charge us to carry their channels, viewership information and available alternatives. We understand that some customers find this programming valuable, and we will work with them to explain options that may help them continue to watch this programming or other content like it.”
The spokeswoman added: “We are not dropping Big Ten Network in areas where there are Big Ten schools. We are only dropping it in out-of-market states where there are no Big Ten schools.”
By dropping the Big Ten Network in select markets, Comcast will reduce its programming costs because carriage fees are based on total viewership.
The Big Ten Network, which airs live conference basketball and football games, and other sports, is co-owned by Fox Sports and the conference. The channel has been in existence for 12 years.
— Phillip Swann