What would Maryland and Rutgers bring to the Big Ten? A lot of television revenue, potentially. The conference thinks it can parlay Maryland and Rutgers into getting the Big Ten Network onto basic cable packages in major cities along the I-95 corridor. According to SI’s Pete Thamel, that could end up being a $100 million or more per year windfall for the conference.
This sounds counterintuitive. It’s hard seeing Rutgers fan support being used as a wedge in the New York market, when combined Jets and Giants support could not get the NFL Network on Time Warner Cable until this season. That said, the Big Ten deserves some benefit of the doubt in this realm. Jim Delany has kept the conference one step ahead when it comes to business issues. Their next TV rights agreement could leave each Big Ten team on par with Texas in terms of TV revenue.
They seem to know what they are doing, when not picking division names. While we’re on divisions, hopefully the Big Ten will reconsider East/West division realignment.
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