Here is something about BTN that I got from another forum. BTN was a good move by E*. In its respective markets, it is a very popular niche channel. I have tuned into HD field hockey, watched a Penn State HD football game and am looking forward to HD basketball and HD softball. These ratings are much higher than professional basketball, ice hockey and many baseball games on the RSNs that Comcast, Cablevision, etc. require 90 percent of subs to support. RSN basketball and ice hockey ratings are generally no more than 1.0. Big Ten Network Draws Football Crowds Early Season Telecasts Rank Tops in Local Cities, Indicating Wide Appeal CHICAGO – Halfway through its inaugural college football season, Big Ten Network -- the only network in TV history to surpass 30 million subscribers within 30 days of launch – has seen virtually all of its Saturday afternoon games post major audiences within key Midwest cities. In fact, several early conference match-ups have dominated local ratings in metropolitan areas like Detroit, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Columbus and Dayton where Big Ten sports enjoy amazing popularity. Already, Big Ten Network games have ranked among the top-12 most-popular programs on advertising-supported cable (and satellite) television in their respective cities nine times, while 12 games rank in the top 50. To understand the significance, according to Nielsen Media Research well over 3000 programs were televised on expanded basic cable channels last month. Perennial powerhouse Ohio State University has proved a particularly large draw for Big Ten Network, dominating local coverage area ratings in Columbus, Cleveland and nearby Dayton, while University of Michigan has had the same effect in cities like Detroit. Big Ten Network will feature both teams in action coming up this weekend. "We have a way to go, but we're all very encouraged by these initial audience results that indicate the widespread appeal of our network," said Mark Silverman, President of Big Ten Network. "As we continue to get deeper into the season, audiences are likely to increase and the addition of other distribution partners will drive these results further upward. "We have continued to support the goal of making Big Ten Network available to as many people as possible, and what we're learning is that Midwest fans are watching our network in great numbers if provided the opportunity," Silverman added. "This all bodes well for our early distribution partners, as they now possess a very potent and invaluable means to generate local advertising partnerships with sponsors interested in reaching these important Midwest communities." The following table ranks the most popular Big Ten Network featured telecasts from the first six weeks of the football season based upon Nielsen results for nine key markets measured for commercial purposes throughout the Midwest. Each telecast includes the date, the event's household coverage area rating; and where that telecast ranked in popularity against every other program shown in that city during September or the first weekend of October. For instance, the Ohio State-Akron game from Sept. 8 earned a 36.6 coverage rating in Columbus. Of the over 3000 programs and sports events on basic cable in September, it was the third highest-rated. The same game earned a 15.6 coverage rating in Cleveland, ranking second in that city for the entire month of September. Date Featured Game Market Rating (HH) Rank 9/8 Akron-Ohio State Dayton 14.8 2 9/8 Akron-Ohio State Columbus 36.6 3 9/1 Youngstown State-Ohio State Dayton 11.5 4 9/8 Akron-Ohio State Cleveland 15.6 5 9/1 Youngstown State-Ohio State Columbus 14.3 6 10/6 Eastern Michigan-Michigan Detroit 6.7 T8* 9/1 Appalachian State-Michigan Detroit 11.3 10 10/6 Minnesota-Indiana Minn/St. Paul 5.6 11* 9/15 The Citadel-Wisconsin Milwaukee 6.8 12 9/29 Michigan-Northwestern Columbus 5.9 34 9/1 Youngstown State-Ohio State Cleveland 7.0 T35 9/1 Appalachian State-Michigan Indianapolis 6.5 T45 *Oct. 1-8 In terms of the markets Big Ten Network is monitoring, the network's Saturday afternoon football telecasts are averaging a 3.6 household coverage area rating, ahead of both NBC (3.4) and CBS (1.8) for each network's respective season-to-date average for college football broadcasts in major Big Ten markets, and a respectable 1.3 ratings points behind ABC (4.9). Among other Big Ten Network performance highlights, coverage area ratings for this past weekend's Saturday noon (ET) football games out-ranked both of the Major League Baseball Divisional Series playoff games in Detroit (6.8 vs. 3.7/3.6), Minneapolis (5.6 vs. 4.9/4.3) and Columbus (2.1 vs. 1.6/0.7). Also, of the four games televised at Noon on Sept. 29 on ESPN, ESPN2, CBS or ABC, Big Ten Network posted a 2.9 coverage area rating across nine key Midwest markets, finishing second to ESPN's Notre Dame-Purdue telecast (6.2) in those markets. This coming weekend's four-game slate in HD promises more exciting gridiron action at Noon (ET) as No. 24-ranked (USA Today/Harris Interactive) Purdue (5-1) visits a rebounding Michigan team (4-2) in Ann Arbor; undefeated No. 3 (AP/USA Today/Harris) Ohio State (6-0) hosts intra-state rival Kent State; and Minnesota travels to Northwestern. At 7 PM (ET) that day, Michigan State hosts Indiana. And as the football season loaded with surprises continues to unfold, Big Ten basketball is just around the bend. Big Ten Network is a top destination for college hoops fans this winter with 140 men's basketball games, 64 conference match-ups and three Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament games. It all begins when Big Ten Network is live on the campuses of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin for their versions of Midnight Madness. The 90-minute show, BIG TEN TONIGHT: BASKETBALL TIP-OFF EDITION, airs at 9:30 PM ET Friday, Oct. 12. The network's full season preview show, BIG TEN HOOPS HYSTERIA, premieres Wednesday, Oct. 18 and examines all 11 teams and handicaps the run to the Big Ten championship. Big Ten Network will also nationally televise more regular season women's basketball games than any other network this season, including 55 regular season games and nine Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament contests. In all, the Big Ten women will make approximately twice as many national television appearances than any other conference. About the Big Ten Network: The Big Ten Network, dedicated to covering the Big Ten Conference and its 11 member institutions, launched August 30, 2007. The network provides unprecedented access to an extensive schedule of conference sports events and shows; original programs in academics, the arts and sciences; campus activities; and associated personalities. Sports programming includes live coverage of more major men's and women's events than ever before, along with news, highlights and analysis, all complemented by hours of university-produced campus programming. The network is available to all cable companies, with most programs offered in stunning high-definition television (HDTV). The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks.