Beacon Journal sportswriter
The Big Ten Network has reached a deal with DISH Network to broadcast the conference's games, including the Ohio State Buckeyes.
DISH, along with Time Warner Cable and Comcast Communications, had been one of the holdouts in the network's campaign to get itself on the air in the area.
BTN will initially show up on DISH's America's Top 100 lineup to give all of the service's customers an opportunity to sample the channel's programming.
After six months, it will move to DISH's Top 100 Plus lineup in the eight states of Big Ten member universities, where customers find many regional sports networks.
''They're carrying us at a level of service that's consistent with similar channels, and that's all we've been asking for is to not treat us like Gol TV (a soccer channel) or the Tennis Channel,'' BTN President Mark Silverman said.
DISH's agreement comes less than a week after BTN's first college football broadcasts.
''I believe the deal (with DISH) will show the public that we are willing to negotiate in good faith and get deals done,'' Silverman said. ''And if your cable company continues to not carry the network, they should have a good idea of who is responsible for them not seeing the network.''
With just one channel dedicated to the network, it appears that DISH won't have any of the overflow channels that BTN offers.
This probably means DISH subscribers will be able to watch only whatever game is on the primary or national feed. This weekend, that happens to be Akron Zips vs. Ohio State.
DISH will broadcast BTN on Channel 439. A high-definition broadcast of the Zips-Buckeyes will be seen on Channel 9467.