FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2009
Contact: Elizabeth Conlisk
Big Ten Network Announces 2009 Early-Season Football Schedule
Network to televise season openers for seven Big Ten teams
CHICAGO - The Big Ten Network today announced it will televise the season openers for seven Big Ten teams and the home openers for two more.
Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin will all kick off the 2009 season with games on the Big Ten Network, while the network will carry the home openers for Illinois and Minnesota.
Overall, the Big Ten Network will televise between 35 and 40 football games this fall, and the vast majority will be produced in high definition. Each Big Ten university will have a minimum of two games on the network, with one being a conference game.
"We couldn't be more excited to begin our third season covering Big Ten football," Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said. "We have a tremendous slate of early-season games and fans will enjoy our studio coverage all week long with our four new football shows."
The Big Ten Network has created four new live studio shows dedicated to Big Ten football including Big Ten Football: Breakdown (Tuesdays, 10 PM ET), Big Ten Football: Sites & Sounds (Wednesdays, 10 PM ET), Big Ten Football: Behind the Schemes (Thursdays, 10 PM ET) and Big Ten Football.and Beyond (Fridays, 10 PM ET). In addition, the network will offer a two-part Big Ten Conference football season preview, with one-hour shows airing at 10 PM ET on Sept. 1 and 2.
Big Ten Network football schedule highlights include:
* The 2009 Big Ten football season begins on the Big Ten Network at 8 PM ET on Sept. 3 as Indiana hosts Eastern Kentucky in the first Thursday night game at newly renovated Memorial Stadium. The night begins at 7 PM ET with Big Ten Football: Pre-Game, airing live. The Hoosiers also host Western Michigan on Sept. 12 in a game on the network.
* The network will have six games on the first Saturday of the regular season. Five of those match-ups are noon ET kickoffs. The schedule includes the season openers for Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue. At 7 PM ET, fans will see Wisconsin host Northern Illinois at Camp Randall Stadium.
* The Big Ten Network will televise Penn State's first three games, all at noon ET, against Akron on Sept. 5, Syracuse on Sept. 12 and Temple on Sept. 19. The Nittany Lions, coming off a Rose Bowl appearance, will be led for the 44th season by coach Joe Paterno. His 383 victories are the most among active coaches.
* The first game at Minnesota's new TCF Bank Stadium will be carried by the Big Ten Network. The Golden Gophers host the Air Force Academy at 7 PM ET on Sept. 12.
* Iowa, which won its final four games of 2008 to finish 9-4, welcomes Northern Iowa in its season opener at noon Sept. 5 at Kinnick Stadium.
* Michigan State, which has played in bowl games in each of the first two years under coach Mark Dantonio, will open its 2009 season at noon ET on Sept. 5 against Montana State.
* Two of Purdue's first three games will air on the Big Ten Network, including the season-opener against Toledo (Sept. 5), and Northern Illinois (Sept. 19). Both games kick off at noon ET. The Boilermakers are under the direction of first-year head coach Danny Hope.
* Northwestern will make consecutive appearances on the network, against Towson (Sept. 5) and Eastern Michigan (Sept. 12). Both games kick off at noon ET at Ryan Field in Evanston.
* The Big Ten Network will televise Illinois' home opener at 7 PM ET on Sept. 12 against Illinois State. The Fighting Illini are expected by many to have one of the conference's most explosive offensive units, led by quarterback Juice Williams and wide receiver Arrelious Benn.
* Michigan, under second-year coach Rich Rodriguez, will make its Big Ten Network debut on Sept. 19 against Eastern Michigan. That game will kick off at noon ET.
When the Big Ten Network is producing simultaneous games, the network will split the feeds to allow Big Ten fans to watch the game with the most regional interest. In addition, cable and satellite providers will be able to carry the additional games via "overflow channels." Each week, fans can check local listings, their on-screen channel guide or www.BigTenNetwork.com <http://www.bigtennetwork.com/> to find overflow channel assignments for specific games.
The Big Ten Network previously announced its primetime schedule of eight games, including four conference matchups.
The Big Ten and its television partners will announce the remaining matchups and game times either six or 12 days before each game.
Big Ten Network's Early-Season and Primetime Schedule
Thursday, September 3
* 8 PM ET - Eastern Kentucky at Indiana
Saturday, September 5
Noon ET - Akron at Penn State
Noon ET - Montana State at Michigan State
Noon ET - Towson at Northwestern
Noon ET - Northern Iowa at Iowa
Noon ET - Toledo at Purdue
* 7 PM ET - Northern Illinois at Wisconsin
Saturday, September 12
Noon ET - Syracuse at Penn State
Noon ET - Western Michigan at Indiana
Noon ET - Eastern Michigan at Northwestern
* 7 PM ET - Air Force at Minnesota
* 7 PM ET - Illinois State at Illinois
Saturday, September 19
Noon ET - Eastern Michigan at Michigan
Noon ET - Temple at Penn State
Noon ET - Wofford at Wisconsin
Noon ET - Northern Illinois at Purdue
Saturday, October 3
* 7 PM ET - Ohio State at Indiana
Saturday, October 17
* 7 PM ET - Illinois at Indiana
Saturday, October 24
* 7 PM ET - Iowa at Michigan State
Saturday, October 31
* 8 PM ET - Michigan State at Minnesota
* Previously Announced
About the Big Ten Network: The Big Ten Network is the first nationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With approximately 350 live events, and nearly all of them in HD, the network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country, allowing them to see their favorite teams, regardless of where they live. The network operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, showcasing a wide array of classic-to-current sports and televising more Olympic sporting events and women's sports than has ever been aired on any other network. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation's finest universities. Each year, the network offers at least 35 football games, 105 regular season men's basketball games; 55 women's basketball games; dozens of Big Ten Championship events; Big Ten Tonight, a nightly studio show; coaches' shows; and classic games. Available to all cable and satellite providers nationwide, the network currently has agreements with more than 250 affiliates, including AT&T U-Verse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox (Cleveland), DirecTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS. For updated information on the Big Ten Network, go to www.BigTenNetwork.com <http://www.bigtennetwork.com/> .