Comcast: Big Ten states will still get Big Ten Network

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
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If you enjoy watching the Big Ten Network on Comcast’s Xfinity cable system, don’t fret, you’ll still be able to watch Michigan, Michigan State and the other 12 teams in the conference.

There was some confusion Thursday afternoon when a report said Comcast was intending to drop the network from its system nationwide.

In a report from Hammer and Rails, a site that covers Purdue athletics, it stated a customer service representative confirmed Big Ten Network would no longer be available in the Ann Arbor. That led to speculation that if the network would not be available in the same market as the University of Michigan, it likely wouldn’t be available anywhere.

However, on Thursday evening officials at Comcast clarified subscribers in Big Ten markets would still have access to BTN and the hundreds of live games and original programming it offers.

“The Big Ten Network is not being dropped in Michigan; nowhere in Michigan,” said Michelle Gilbert, vice president for public relations at Comcast. “There was some misinformation put out. The Big Ten Network is being dropped in some non-Big Ten markets but it will be available wherever Comcast is available in Michigan.”

Later on Thursday, the cable company posted a response on social media.

“The out-of-market Big Ten Network feed, which was carried on Sports & Entertainment pkg in non-Big Ten states, was dropped in some areas,” Comcast posted to its Twitter account on Thursday. “Big Ten Network in-market feed, available to customers in Big Ten states in the regular channel line-up, will continue to be available.”

The network, which launched in June 2006, claims more than 60 million viewers throughout the nation.

"Like legions of Big Ten fans across the country, we were disappointed to learn that Comcast Corporation unilaterally decided to drop the Big Ten Network from Xfinity in many regions outside the home markets of the Big Ten universities," Big Ten Network spokesman Jordan Maleh said.

"The outpouring of concern and outrage from fans nationwide speaks for itself -- BTN is a valuable part of Comcast's sports lineup, and we share their frustration at Comcast's decision to deprive them of hundreds of exclusive games and programming featuring some of the most iconic universities in the country."

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