July 29, 2010
CHICAGO - On the heels of its most successful ratings year, the Big Ten Network will debut several programs in September, enhancing its fall lineup to include new shows about the conference's iconic student-athletes, the current lives of former Big Ten stars in sports and society, and rare footage from the Big Ten of yesteryear.
The new shows, which roll out almost daily beginning Sept. 3, are Big Ten Icons, The Next Level, Big Ten Film Vault, Big Ten Pulse, Big Ten Football Report, and Big Ten Football Saturday: Kickoff.
"These shows represent a wide array of programming that will definitely appeal to Big Ten fans," Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said. "We're also thrilled to have more programming that reflects the conference's great history and tradition. We can't wait to introduce fans to these new shows, while continuing to improve and expand on the football-themed shows we introduced last year."
The Big Ten Network saw significant year-over-year ratings increases during the 2009-10 academic year. Based on Nielsen data in the network's nine metered markets (Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh), weekend ratings jumped 32 percent. Primetime ratings were up 27 percent and the network's overall year-long average saw an 18 percent increase. The network also set new single-game viewing records in football (Oct. 3: Michigan-Michigan State and Northwestern-Purdue and men's basketball (Feb. 17: Purdue-Ohio State).
Silverman will offer a sneak preview of the network's new shows at Big Ten Football Media Day Aug. 2. Clips also will be posted next week on the network's Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as at Big Ten Network.com.
Big Ten Icons (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET): The network's fall programming lineup will be headlined by Big Ten Icons. Hosted by legendary sports broadcaster Keith Jackson, Big Ten Icons is the network's most ambitious project to date. The 20-episode series debuts Saturday, Sept. 18, and then airs Tuesdays at 9 PM ET. The program will count down the most iconic figures in Big Ten history, based on their collegiate playing careers. Each 30-minute documentary will spotlight one Big Ten Icon. Numbers 50 through 21 will be revealed on Big Ten Network.com in advance of the program's television debut.
The Next Level (Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET): Each episode of The Next Level, which debuts on Sept. 9, will spend a day with former Big Ten stars to learn about their lives in professional sports and society. Lavar Arrington, Dallas Clark, Joe Girardi, Dhani Jones, Muhsin Muhammad, Nick Swisher and others also will re-live their time on campus and share their personal stories of how competing in the Big Ten helped shape their professional careers.
Big Ten Film Vault (Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET): With hours of rare footage, some of which has never aired on national television, the Big Ten Film Vault debuts on Sept. 7 and will feature yearbook and highlight shows from the 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's. Fans will see rare mic'ed up footage of Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and other Big Ten coaches. The narration for these shows was originally recorded by broadcasting legends such as Chick Hearn, Jack Brickhouse, Tom Harmon and Bill Flemming. The show will be hosted by Michigan alum and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf.
Other new shows that will debut on the network this fall include Big Ten Pulse (Thursdays, 9 p.m. ET), Big Ten Football Report (Fridays, 8 p.m. ET) and Big Ten Football Saturday: Kickoff (Saturdays, 10 a.m. ET).
In addition to the new programs, the Big Ten Network will also return 10 from last year's schedule. They include: Big Ten Extra Points (Mondays, 7 p.m. ET), Big Ten's Best (Mondays, 7:30 p.m. ET), Big Ten Football: Breakdown (Mondays, 8 p.m. ET), Big Ten Press Pass (formerly Sites and Sounds) (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET); The Big Ten Women's Show (Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. ET), Big Ten Football and Beyond (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET), Big Ten Football: Behind the Schemes (Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. ET), The Big Ten's Greatest Games (Fridays, 6 p.m. ET), Big Ten Tailgate (Fridays, 11 p.m. ET), Big Ten Football Saturday Pre-Game and Wrap-Up (before and after football games).