Time Warner Cable has upgraded its carriage of BTN within the state of Nebraska to its standard service tier, while Dish Network will make the channel available on one of its America's Top 120 Plus programming package.
BTN, which had been part of Time Warner Cable's digital tier, also will become available on the highly penetrated standard service on channel 24, beginning on Aug. 23. The move ensures that all of the University of Nebraska's football games, including its Sept. 3 opener versus Tennessee-Chattanooga, will be available to most Time Warner Cable customers during the school's inaugural year in the Big Ten Conference.
Time Warner Cable provides bundled service in and around Lincoln, the state's capital, so its BTN upgrade is key to the network's distribution goals in the Cornhusker State.
The MSO, which supplies video and high-speed data to the university's campus, declined to comment on pricing for BTN's new positioning.
Meanwhile, Dish will make BTN available to its subcribers in Nebraska via its America's Top 120 Plus programming package or a higher level of service, kicking off on Sept. 1.
The channel, a joint venture between the conference and Fox Networks, has been receiving upward of a 70-cent monthly subscriber fee within the states comprising the conference's footprint. In a number of other areas, BTN has been positioned on sports tiers and receives a much lower subscription fee.
Another top cable operator in the state, Cox, which presently offers BTN on its $6 Sports and Information tier in Omaha, Nebraska's most populous city, said it is continuing good faith negotiation with the service. A spokesman for the MSO said Cox expects to continue delivering BTN programming at a reasonable price to its customers.
Kicking off Aug. 23, BTN will be available on channel 24. BTN is currently available to digital customers on channel 333 and in HD on channel 1333, and will remain on those locations going forward. In addition to the primary network feed, two extra football game channels will also be available: BTN Extra 1 on 1334, BTN Extra 2 on 1335. These channels are primarily used during football season when games air simultaneously to ensure all conference games are available to customers in their entirety.
"We know how important Husker football is to our great customers in Lincoln and throughout the state," said Scott Miller, Time Warner Cable's area vice president of operations for the Kansas City/Lincoln division, in a statement. "This move will allow us to keep providing our customers with the best Nebraska football content in the area."
Noted BTN president Mark Silverman: "This is great for Husker fans, now that they're a part of the Big Ten Conference, to see games on Time Warner Cable's standard service tier. Time Warner Cable has a huge presence in Nebraska, and we're excited to be making this move."