For anyone who remains nostalgic about the ACC - be it the current Big East light edition or the dead version from the sixties and seventies - let this put an end to it right now. When Maryland's move becomes official on July 1, the Big Ten Network (BTN) "will dedicate its entire programming to commemorate the Terps' inaugural day in the Big Ten," as announced in a school release.
Maryland and the BTN
So let's think about this for a minute. Just about a week ago, the BTN announced a deal with Cablevision and Time Warner putting the network on basic cable packages in the New York and New Jersey areas. While they are still negotiating the deal for the DMV, they chose to feature Maryland's inaugural day rather than Rutgers'. Might that say that, despite the early deal up north, the powers that be at the B1G view Maryland as a more valuable addition to the conference footprint? As BTN President Mark Silverman told the Newark based Star-Ledger, "It is our number one priority this year to integrate Rutgers and Maryland into the Big Ten Network and make high-quality programming for both schools."
BTN coming to DC?
BTN coming to DC?
While the BTN is available in the area as part of an enhanced sports package, there can be little question that the network wants to expand its beyond the current 52 million households. Perhaps, acknowledging the importance of having an expanded presence in this area the BTN is looking to step up the pressure on recalcitrant area providers. We can't know this for certain but as some folks might opine, "I'm just sayin'..."
Of course, Maryland will also benefit from this expansion once the deal is done. And that benefit spans all sports. In basketball and football every conference game will be televised. And a glance at the BTN schedule shows substantial love for the non-revenue sports as well. Somehow, I don't think that will prove detrimental to recruiting.
Not just a BTN event
The University of Maryland is also eager to celebrate the final step of the transition to their new conference with two full days of events planned on June 30 and July 1. Remember, academically, Maryland joined the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) last year. According to University President Wallace Loh, "We have chosen our future, spent a year of intense preparation, and have been welcomed by the Big Ten with exceptional camaraderie. We are academic partners. Now, we cannot wait to meet in competition."
It wouldn't be a Maryland celebration without Under Armour's participation and they will kick things off on June 30 with open house official launch of exclusive Maryland / Big Ten Inaugural apparel. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney will be on hand and, though we don't know whether they'll be using that new van, so will the Mighty Sound of Maryland.
There's also going to be an event in conjunction with the Nats-Rockies game outside Nationals park that night. That will start with a block party at the Fairgrounds adjacent to the park. That gets underway at four pm. Here's the two day schedule:
BIG TEN/MARYLAND CELEBRATION
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Monday, June 30
Under Armour Brand House
700 South President St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Maryland staff/coaches scheduled to arrive at Under Armour Brand House
Launch of exclusive Maryland/Big Ten inaugural apparel at Under Armour Brand House
Brief program featuring Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, University of Maryland Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson, Maryland coaches and staff and Under Armour leadership
The Fairgrounds at Nationals Park
1299 Half Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
University of Maryland/BTN Block Party
1500 S. Capital Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Big Ten Conference honored with Nationals Spirit Award in pre-game ceremony at ballpark
First pitch Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies
Tuesday, July 1
Mitchell Field (near the M Circle)
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20740
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Campus Big Ten Celebration