The Badger game will be shown on Dish Network after the Satellite provider reached a short-term deal with Big Ten Network.
Big Ten Network released the following statement overnight:
BTN and DISH have agreed to a short-term arrangement. Discussions will continue towards a long-term agreement. Enjoy today’s season-opening games. Thank you for your continued support.
A five-year contract between the Big Ten Network and DISH Network expires August 31, a day before the start of the college football season. The Wisconsin Badgers are scheduled to debut against Northern Iowa on the Big Ten Network at 2:30 p.m.
According to WMTV-TV, Big Ten Network Spokesperson Elizabeth Conlisk says negotiations are ongoing, but an agreement is yet to be reached. The "I Want my BTN!" website says other providers have already agreed to a similar price increase.
A spokesperson for DISH explains, "DISH is always open to proposals from programmers that offer our customers high quality programming at a good value."
Earlier this summer, DISH dropped the AMC channel after failing to reach an agreement in a similar negotiation.
Thursday, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Director, Barry Alvarez issued this statement:
Dear Badger fans,
I am writing with an important message about Big Ten Network that will greatly affect some UW fans. As you may know, BTN reaches more than 50 million homes nationally through partnerships with more than 300 cable, satellite and telco providers. The network televises approximately 80 Badger events every year, and will carry this Saturday’s football season opener.
However, the carriage agreement between Dish Network and BTN is set to expire on Saturday, Dish Network plans to drop BTN from its programming lineup before Saturday’s game vs. Northern Iowa.
The American Television Alliance has reported that during carriage disputes Dish Network has dropped 22 networks from its channel lineup in the past two and a half years alone, including sports networks like MSG and SNY, which broadcast NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS games, and non-sports networks like AMC that air popular shows such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
Now, Dish Network plans to drop BTN before the first Saturday of the college football season. If you want them to keep BTN in their programming lineup so that you can continue to watch the Badgers this season, plus the premiere of The Journey: Big Ten Football 2012, Tailgate 48, #BTNLive, 105 men’s basketball games, 55 women’s basketball games and your other favorite Big Ten Network programming, here’s what you can do to help:
• Visit www.IWantBTN.com to learn more
• Call 1-855-926-8210 to reach Dish Network customer service
• Leave a comment on Dish Network’s Facebook page
• Follow @IWantBTN on Twitter and use the hashtag #IWantBTN
Thanks for your continued support of BTN, a valuable partner to Wisconsin athletics.