Insight signs Big Ten Network pact, reports say

August 29, 2007
New York-based Insight Communications reportedly signed a deal with the Big Ten Network today-the day before the network is set to launch, Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal and other outlets are reporting.

Insight, which has 1.4 million customers in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, has agreed to carry the Big Ten Network on its expanded basic package in Ohio, but is still determining where the network will appear on its systems in Illinois and Indiana. The network will be on a digital tier in the non-Big Ten state of Kentucky.

The deal with Insight, the nation's ninth-largest cable company, could pressure Comcast Cable and Time Warner in Indiana to make their own deals with the network.

Big Ten Network has been fighting to get placed on expanded basic cable packages for almost a year. Philadelphia-based Comcast, the largest cable provider in central Indiana, favors placing the new network with a variety of Big Ten sports and academic programming on an all-sports tier, where viewers would have to pay extra to receive it.

Oddly, Comcast signed a deal this spring to take over virtually all of Insight's territory in Indiana later this year. Industry insiders think that agreement is likely holding up the announcement of Insight's plans with the network locally.

Insight has more than 260,000 cable customers in the Indianapolis area, including Fishers, Noblesville, Lebanon and Anderson.
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