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Verizon Goes Wide With Big Ten Network

Verizon Communications will make the Big Ten Network available in both standard- and high-definition feeds in all areas where FiOS TV is available over the next few months.

The deal should boost Big Ten Network’s carriage to more than 36 million subscribers, as FiOS TV counted 1.2 million subscribers as of the end of March.

Verizon first launched Big Ten Network to subscribers in the Ft. Wayne, Ind., area last week.

The announcement comes less than a month after the collegiate network inked a deal with Comcast to carry BTN on expanded basic in seven states with Big Ten schools, which would boost the network’s reach to an estimated 35 million households.

FiOS is currently only available in two of the states—Indiana and Pennsylvania—in the conference’s eight-state footprint.

Big Ten Network, owned by the conference's 11 member colleges and Fox National Cable Sports Networks, produced more than 400 live events in its first year of operation.

Verizon and Big Ten Network also said they expect to launch new video-on-demand and broadband content ventures together within the coming year, “with subsequent details to be announced later.”