It's Maryland's first day as a full-fledged member of the Big Ten, and officials are already hinting at a significant Terrapin presence on the conference's flagship television network.
At an event on Monday, Big Ten Network staffers said Maryland will play four to six football games before a Big Ten Network TV audience, Jeff Barker reports. On the hardwood, Mark Turgeon's men's basketball team could play up to 20 games on the channel. For Maryland, it will be a quick integration into one of the conference's key media platforms.
This news is consistent with why the Big Ten wanted Maryland onboard in the first place. There's a lot of money to be made in the Washington media market, and by prominently featuring a D.C.-area school with a wide alumni base and plenty of local commercial appeal, the Big Ten stands to squeeze out every drop it can of the Washington market. In this sense, the Terps will show up on so much on the network for the exact same reason Jim Delany is bringing his basketball tournament to the Verizon Center in 2017.
The Big Ten has always had tremendous reach in the midwest, but its expansion to the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area (along with New York and New Jersey, via Rutgers), gives the conference exposure everywhere from Nebraska's cornfields to Minnesota's lakes to the National Mall. Demographically, there's a lot for the league to like, and for Maryland fans in the 50-plus million homes that receive the channel, the Terps' presence is a big win.
(Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that the Big Ten Network is not available on Maryland's campus under the university's basic cable offering. Pete Volk reported a few days ago that the university will be getting the channel.)