Contract dispute between Comcast, Big Ten Network, Fox Sports 1 could cost fans Gophers football games

Comcast's contract with Big Ten Network and FS1 expires soon.
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An expiring contract between Comcast and Big Ten Network could keep Gophers football fans from watching some of the games this fall. 

Mark Silverman, the president of Big Ten Network, was live on the network Tuesday openly communicating his concern about the contract impasse with Comcast. 

"We should be much further along than we are," Silverman said. "It's extremely concerning. I've gone through this with them 10 years ago, and I can't predict what their motivations are."

The contract dispute also involves Fox Sports 1, which combined with Big Ten Network is set to broadcast about 60 Big Ten football games this fall. 

"BTN and FS1 have made proposals to Comcast dating back to February and we've had no substantive response at all," Silverman said. "As a result, we believe BTN and those Big Ten games that air on FS1 are in danger of not being aired on Comcast this coming season. So, we're letting people know to alert Comcast subscribers of this real possibility that they could lose these games."

The TV partner has been announced in just four of the Gophers' 12 games this season, and all four are with Big Ten Network and FS1. 

  • Gophers vs. New Mexico State, Aug. 30 on BTN
  • Gophers vs. Fresno State, Sep. 8 on FS1
  • Gophers vs. Miami (Ohio), Sep. 15 on BTN
  • Gophers vs. Indians, Oct. 26 on FS1

The website keepbigten.com urges Comcast customers to contact Comcast and let them know Big Ten football is important to them. 

Comcast has since issued a statement in response to the Big Ten Network: 

"Comcast's agreements with content providers, like the Big Ten Network, expire from time to time. We are communicating with the Big Ten Network about continuing to carry it after August 31 and look forward to productive negotiations," the statement says. 

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