The annual Big Ten Football Media Days began with a discussion of digital consumption of content and cord-cutting.
Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman opened the media conference, talking almost exclusively about changes and expansion throughout BTN as it nears its tenth anniversary in August. New programing, content and on-air talent will be gracing screens this fall.
First up, BTN Tailgate will expand to two hours in its second season on the network. Airing from 10 am EST until noon, analyst Stanley Jackson will join Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Spice Adams for 10 shows.
Sports Lite with Mike Hall and Campus Eats are also returning for second seasons at BTN.
BTN Live, B1G Football and Beyond and The Journey are all debuting this fall. B1G Football and Beyond will air daily while BTN Live will air nightly through the week with highlights, analysis and guests. BTN Live begins August 1 while B1G Football drops August 28. The Journey: Big Ten Football 2017 will debut in October.
BTN: Ten B1G years debuts August 30 and will go behind the scenes of the 2007 launch of the network. Just 10 episodes will air during the fall.
The story of Maryland junior defensive end Melvin Keihn will be the subject of BTN Originals. After leaving Liberia at the age of 8, Keihn returns home to see his mother for the first time in 15 years.
Silverman spoke about making content available on numerous platforms, and stated that their subscriber base has remained almost steady over the past decade despite cord cutters.
“You need to be available wherever your viewers opt to watch your content,” Silverman said. He mentioned platforms such as Hulu, Netflix and YouTube as places to find content from BTN. Some of it will be behind paywalls.
In addition to the new places to find content, new on-air talent is also joining the BTN ranks. Braylon Edwards, James Laurinaitis and Corey Wootton will all appear in various studio roles. Lisa Byington will become the first woman in BTN history to provide play-by-play for a college football game. She will call Bowling Green at Northwestern on September 16.
Finally, the Big Ten Network will be collaborating with other networks for content not exclusive to BTN. Being P.J. Fleck will be a project done alongside ESPN while a weekly Ohio State football show will be produced exclusively for SportsTime Ohio. Televised BTN games and programming will be available within Fox Sports Go and BTN2Go.