As expected, the carriage dispute between Comcast, FS1, and the Big Ten Network has been resolved a week before the football season, ensuring fans will not miss any games this season.
We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with Comcast, ensuring fans enjoy BTN and the Big Ten on FS1. Thanks for your support – here’s to a great season! pic.twitter.com/yfc417wfh2
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 24, 2018
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, the agreement will place BTN on the Xfinity “expanded basic” tier in states with a Big Ten school (which includes New Jersey, Delaware, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia, but *not* New York), and puts the network on the “sports and entertainment” tier in the coming months in all other states.
The dispute initially reared its head back in April, when Comcast dropped the network in many markets that did not have a Big Ten team. But about a month ago the dispute was ratcheted up to another level when Fox Sports president Mark Silverman said that Comcast was poised to drop the network altogether when its carriage agreement ended in August, which also would have had an effect on Big Ten games airing on FS1. The Big Ten went on the offensive early in trying to force Comcast’s hand, and it appears that offensive ended up working out for the conference.
For the record, fans would have been missing out on a bunch of Big Ten games on BTN on FS1 in Week 1, including New Mexico State-Minnesota on Thursday, Utah State-Michigan State on Friday, and Texas-Maryland, Kent State-Illinois, Texas State-Rutgers, Appalachian State-Penn State, and Northern Illinois-Iowa, all airing on Saturday. Of course, only three of those Big Ten schools finished with winning records last season, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to school fandom.