Smarter, more agile brains than ours are busy picking apart the technical details and forecasting the potential success of the Big Ten network. In summary, though, here's what you need to know:
1. The Big Ten is building its own television network. You know, much like the one Notre Dame has called NBC.
AIIIIIGGGGHHH!!! We hope the Big Ten gets someone more lifelike than synthflesh-covered cyborg Tom Hammond to call their games.
2. The Big Ten Network would broadcast games "carved out" of existing network agreements. So rather than the pork tenderloin of Michigan/Ohio State, you'd likely be looking at the head cheese and chitterlings of Purdue/Northwestern if you tuned in during the fall.
3. The Big Ten Network, headed by Bud Selig Charm School Graduate Jim Delany, is charging viewers more than any network besides ESPN for its services.
4. This has gotten the fledgling network into a tiff with cable giant Comcast, and their tussle has been prodigious enough to attract the attention of the three most important media outlets in the nation: MGoBlog, The New York Times, and Sunday Morning Quarterback, all of whom have spent considerable bandwidth and column space discussing it in intelligent fashion.
We here at EDSBS are of the opinion that Jim Delany is a complete and total dickface, even above and beyond the dickfacedness required in being a conference head.
(See "SEC is fast because they cut class" incident, 2007.) However, the pricing argument presents a canard for those who would want to demonize the easy, miles-wide target the Big Ten commish offers.
The price remains astronomically high for a network, but we're not talking Fuse here--we're talking about a sports network, and a boutique-y one at that with a following that tends to pay whatever it has to for access to even the most rancid of content.