Big Ten Network Goes Global With Comcast's ThePlatform

The Big Ten Network has tapped thePlatform, Comcast's online-video services unit, to provide centralized back-end management support for its service that delivers live sporting events to viewers who live outside of North America.

BTN, a joint venture between Fox Cable Networks and the Big Ten Conference, will use thePlatform's media publishing system to manage the Big Ten Network's new international streaming package, the "Big Ten Ticket." In addition, for North American Internet users, BTN will use thePlatform's system to deliver other sports video.

With the Big Ten Ticket online service, available at, all televised Big Ten Network football and men's basketball games will be available live and on-demand online to viewers living outside of the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BTN will televise 35-40 football games and 105 regular season men's basketball games, plus three Big Ten Tournament games, in 2009-10.

The Big Ten Ticket online-streaming package is available for $24.95 for a single game pay-per-view; $69.95 for a "school pass" with games from one school for the season; or $89.95 for the "conference pass" with all BTN coverage.

"We are expanding our online video efforts to serve the fans of the Big Ten Network worldwide," BTN director of new media Michael Calderon said in a statement. "ThePlatform has a proven history of managing large and complex video offerings for many leading content companies, and we believe their system gives us the flexibility, scalability, and ability to monetize video in the way that we need."

ThePlatform's customers include BBC, Cablevision, CBS College Sports, CNBC, Comcast, Cox Communications, Gannett/USA Today, PBS, Sony BMG, Starz Play and Time Warner Cable.