August 1, 2007

Noises from around Chicago

CHICAGO-In our coverage of the Big Ten media conference Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, complied a collection of quotes from every head coach in attendance, as well as two figures who were able to shed some light on the Big Ten Network's inaugural season.

Mark Silverman, Big Ten Network

On the quality of the broadcast teams and what fans can expect
We will not have infomercials, gambling advertisements or alcohol advertisements. We're comfortable with this as a business decision and a branding decision. We also have an internship program at each university where students will be receiving school credit, gathering real life experience in an industry that is very competitive.

On game selection for the network
For football, we've selected the first three games. Further in the season, games will be selected on a six or 12-day window. With basketball, the schedule will be made in the coming weeks and this schedule will be set with more flexibility down the line.

On the live game selection on Big Ten Network
We're going to have somewhere between 60-70 live games for every university on the network. Of those, 25-30 of those will be football and basketball. For each of the 11 schools, we'll have more localized product that the fans want to see is something we're very happy about; it's like 11 mini-networks.

Jim Delany, Big Ten Conference Commissioner

Overview of conference's competitive strengths
The Big Ten intercollegiate athletics are in a very healthy state, in particular, the sport of football. We've had teams that can not only compete on the national level, as we've had two teams win a national championship in the past 10 years and competing for several more, but also within the conference, we've had eight different champions or co-champions in the past decade. Over the past 19 years, we've raised average attendance from 57,000 to an average of over 70,000 per game.

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