AT&T Touts Big Ten Network Deal


Leading up to the Aug. 30 launch of the Big Ten Network, AT&T is trying to capitalize on its deal to carry the football-oriented channel in its standard lineups as large cable operators have resisted playing ball.

AT&T, in its announcement Monday, alluded to the impasse between top cable companies and the network: “When it comes to catching the excitement of Big Ten football, AT&T U-verse TV customers won't be left on the sidelines.”

Last week Comcast and Fox Cable Networks, which owns the Big Ten Network with the 11-university conference, publicly jousted over negotiations to carry the network. Comcast executives say the Big Ten Network should be offered on a sports tier.

The Big Ten Network will be available to U-verse TV customers who subscribe to the U100 programming package, available starting at $44 per month, or higher-priced packages. U-verse HD service is an additional $10 more per month.

The Big Ten Network will broadcast more than 400 live events, original programming and conference football games. On U-verse TV, the network's games will be on channel 650 in standard definition and 1250 in high definition.

“The Big Ten Conference is followed by loyal alumni and football fans across the nation,” AT&T head of content and programming Dan York said, in a statement. “We’re proud to include this great new network in our most popular programming packages. It's part of our ongoing commitment to offer our customers the content they want.”

Separately, AT&T offers a sports tier for an additional $10 per month that includes 25 channels of college sports, regional sports, international soccer, outdoor recreation, horse racing and more.