Jim Delany of the Big Ten, normally referred to around here as "dikfase" (SEC grad, sorry,can't spell but that won't surprise you, right Jim?) has numerous irons in the fire at the moment.
And now, my stunning version of "Hustlin'" by Rick Ross.
First he's busy ramming the Big Ten Network (The BTN, which looks like "Bitten") through the mouthroofs of cable providers everywhere. Brian's got a fascinating piece of actual journalism (shock faint revive wow!) on the process from the cable providers' perspective, which in person seems ever so reasonable and fair: cable providers don't think the slate of games the Bitten would be putting on is deserving of a sports niche outside of basic cable.
They instead want the Bitten to be classified as a "regional sports network," much like CSS here in the greater Southeast. Here we begin to see some real regional deviation: part of the brouhaha surrounding this is that the Big Ten has fought for making this a premium channel due to regional interest, even with a substandard slate of games.
Lost in this is the consumer voice, which we're guessing is uniformly against paying any more than they have to to see second-tier Big Ten games on an expensive channel. It's money--people hate to spend it if they don't have to.
Now transfer this to the South, where we know for a fact that die hard Alabama fans would phone in all variety of nefarious threats to get a game on television. Serious, horrible threats. We imagine this very conversation happening by region:
Comcast Customer Support: Hello?
Angry Iowa fan: I can't get the damn game on.
CCS: You'll have to write the Big Ten to voice your displeasure.
AIF: You're damn right I will. (Goes, immediately writes letter and mails.)
And this exchange from hundreds of miles south:
Angry LSU fan: GODDAMN I CAIN'T GET DA GAME ON HYAH!!!
CCS: Sir, please calm down.
ALSUF: I WILL SET YOUR CAT ON FIRE AND THROW IT INTO A VAT OF KEROSENE I HAVE IMMERSED YOUR ENTIRE DAMN HOUSE INTO WOMAN GIMME MAH FOOTBAW!!!
Youuuu did whut?
Secondly, Delany's floating the expansion of the Big Televen to twelve teams after they "build value" in the existing brand. Possible snags include Syracuse and Rutgers, though Rutgers seems like the more obvious grab thanks to the proximity to the all-important ESPN sports scrotum in Bristol. (Though Syracuse's basketball value is not to be denied as a strong attractor here.)
With that change, the Big Ten goes from being slightly off as an eleven team conference to being drastically misnamed as a 12 name conferences. We now suggest the following replacements for the name "Big Ten" for no fee whatsoever:
--The Increasingly Inaccurately Named Big Ten by Douglas Adams.
--Off Tackle Right: The Conference
--The Big 12. Fuck 'em. Let 'em sue. We'll see who's more "twelve" than the other.
--El Grande Diez! Massive potential outreach in growing Latin demographic.
--Tha Bigg 10+6-4. Reachout to urban demographic is undeniable.
--The Billy Ocean Conference. Why the hell not? That shit is smooooooth. And it's not like he's using the name. Listen to "Suddenly" and try to deny the silky sounds of a conference with that name.
--"The SEC." Will help nail down those pesky national title game slots in years with multiple one-loss teams. Also interchangeable with "The Pac-10."