Big Ten Network has rolled out a new ad campaign to try and get out in front of its carriage dispute with Comcast. The ad features 12 Big Ten football coaches warning fans that they are in danger of missing all Big Ten games on the Big Ten Network and on FS1 and directing fans to KeepBigTen.com.
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) August 9, 2018
The current ten year agreement between the network and Comcast also includes a fee for Big Ten games aired on FS1. Comcast removed BTN from XFinity systems outside of the conference footprint ahead of the deal’s expiration on August 31. John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal writes that “the network said no progress had been made” since Fox Sports president Mark Silverman addressed the dispute during Big Ten Media Days.
The website KeepBigTen.com is a PR machine for the Big Ten Network. It includes links for fans to find other TV providers as well as a button that will allow fans to tweet complaints directly to Comcast.
Comcast is well-established in Big Ten country including Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Minnesota. Whether that presents leverage for either side remains to be seen.