Big Ten Services Deal

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Service Electric Cable TV & Communications and Big Ten Network came to terms on a carriage deal late Friday afternoon that puts the sports service on the distributor’s expanded basic package.

The pact, terms of which were not disclosed, ensured that 100,000 Service Electric customers in Lehigh Valley, Penn. And Hunterdon County and Phillipsburg, N.J. areas could watch the network’s college football slate this weekend. Service Electric is positioning the service, which is co-owned by the conference’s 11-member schools and Fox National Cable Sports Networks, on channel 32.

Fox has been seeking monthly license fee of around $1 for subscribers residing with the conference’s eight-state footprint and 10 cents each month for those living outside that area.

“Service Electric believes that the network is compelling and attractive to its subscribers, who will enjoy unparalleled coverage of Big Ten sports, as well as campus programming featuring entertaining stories about what’s happening at their favorite university,” said Service Electric general manager Jack Capparell in a statement.

Big Ten, which has closed deals in the past week with WOW! and RCN, also has affiliate deals with DirecTV, Dish Network and a host of other cable operators and municipal providers to count more than 30 million subscribers just five weeks after its Aug. 30 launch.

However, it has yet to reach accord with such operators as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Mediacom Communications, Charter Communications and Cox Communications, all of which have major presence in the conference’s territory, over pricing and sports tier positioning.

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