Big Ten Eyes Ad Growth With App

With all of its key distributors now on the roster for its mobile app, Big Ten Network expects its digital advertising revenue to score big this football season.

BTN2Go was introduced in 2011 and the network signed up sponsors fast. Even without mighty Comcast anchoring the line, advertisers including Auto-Owners Insurance, Buffalo Wild Wings and Buick were digital players on the app as well as on the air.

Now with Comcast and the network’s other distributors ready for kickoff, BTN president Mark Silverman expects doubledigit increases in digital advertising as mobile viewing jumps on campus.

“The No. 1 thing we heard from our viewers was that they want access to this on mobile devices,” Silverman says. That’s particular true of students, who “do everything through their phone.”

During football season in particular, BTN2Go should allow advertising to reach the elusive demo of young men 18 to 34. “That group is highly coveted and they’re the primary user of this product,” Silverman says.

BTN sells digital ads packaged with linear commercials as well as separately. Last year, the network initiated dynamic ad insertion, allowing it to put different ads in different feeds reaching targeted audiences. BTN reaches 52 million homes and is a joint venture of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Networks.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.