Seems the Big 10 has an even grander view of themselves than the NFL, as the Big Ten Network intends to charge cable companies (and therefore, you) $1.10 a month if you live in Big Ten territory. That's over $13 a year. And like the NFL, they insist that this be on basic cable so that all customers have to pay, not just sports fans. Big Ten commissioner explains their position:
Oh, and where will the cable company get the $13 annual fee for each subscriber? Simple...raise rates. That's your tax right there.
"Millions of Big Ten fans who already pay their basic cable bill would expect this to be included. If they choose to put it on a sports tier -- I call that a tax."
I have no doubt that eventually the Big Ten Network can eventually be a success...but not with this business model. Battling with cable companies only means fans are losers. In the end, networks like the Big Ten's will struggle until cable companies find a way to increase capacity and go to ala-carte models to allow you to pick and choose your programming choices. Personally, I'd gladly trade off Lifetime, MTV, and Faux News for the NFL Network. But right now my cable company doesn't give me that option...and I don't see it happening anytime soon.
In the meantime...sports fans are the losers in this war.