CHICAGO – Big Ten Network and CBSSports.com College Network announced today a new, landmark partnership to create the Big Ten Digital Network, which will bring the official athletics websites for 11 Big Ten Conference universities, the Big Ten Conference and BTN under one umbrella.
The newly redesigned and launched BTN.com serves as the hub for the new Big Ten Digital Network. The live video section, available at Video.BTN.com, is powered by the CBSSports.com College Network. During the first year of the arrangement, the Big Ten Digital Network will encompass the official athletics websites for BTN, the Big Ten Conference and the University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin.
Over the course of the three-month football season in 2010, from September to November, the websites that encompass the BTDN reached more than 5 million monthly unique visitors and delivered more than 35 million monthly page views, according to Nielsen, creating a powerful digital advertising platform.
“The Big Ten Digital Network represents another important step in our growth,” BTN President Mark Silverman said. “By aggregating and growing these already sizable audiences through our existing on-air promotional vehicles, the Big Ten Digital Network will be an attractive proposition for advertisers and a logical partnership between them, the universities, CBSSports.com College Network and BTN.”
“This partnership with the Big Ten Network is yet another crucial step in our pursuit to work with the biggest brands across the collegiate athletics landscape,” said Rob Schupler, Senior Vice President, University Sales and Marketing, CBSSports.com College Network. “This creative and strategic alliance with the Big Ten Network will serve as the model for future interactive partnerships with other major college conferences.”
The Big Ten Digital Network will enable greater content sharing, particularly video, across all websites. BTN will gain additional advertising inventory across all sites and will also provide more than 500 exclusive non-televised events to the official athletics websites’ multimedia subscription services, thereby eliminating the need for fans to subscribe to two different services. The partnership will also promote the individual school sites and online stores during Big Ten Network broadcasts. Advertising sales for all video content will be a joint effort between CBSSports.com College Network, the Big Ten Network, and each specific Big Ten institution.
The redesigned BTN.com gives fans a place to find the most current Big Ten news, information, interviews, video and audio. The site includes more fully developed show pages and enhanced navigation and has a greater emphasis on social media functionality, allowing fans to easily share posts and pages on BTN.com on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, to comment directly on stories and to engage with network talent via Twitter.