Big Ten taps thePlatform for Web video

Big Ten Network, the cable sports joint venture between Fox Cable Networks and the Big Ten Conference, has selected Comcast subsidiary thePlatform to manage and publish its online video assets.

Seattle-based thePlatform will use its "media publishing system" to provide centralized back-end management support to Big Ten Network for two major Web video initiatives: the "Big Ten Ticket," an international streaming package that will offer live and on-demand game coverage; and regular webcasts aimed at North American audiences.

"We are expanding our online video efforts to serve the fans of the Big Ten Network worldwide," said Michael Calderon, director of new media for Big Ten Network, 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."

The "Big Ten Ticket" will make televised Big Ten Network football and men's basketball games available live and on-demand online to viewers living outside of the United States, Canada and the Caribbean on The network plans to televise between 35-40 football games and 105 regular season men's basketball games, plus three Big Ten Tournament games, in the 2009-10 season.

Webcasts of other sports video will be provided to North American fans of the University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and University of Wisconsin.

"The Big Ten Network is already the place for fans to stay connected to their favorite teams and sports content within millions of households across the US," said Marty Roberts, VP of marketing for thePlatform, in a statement. "We're very proud to have been chosen to help them deliver more of their incredible library of collegiate sports video to online audiences around the world."