The Big Ten Network expands to Mobile Devices with BTN2Go

Fans of Big Ten sports who are on the road can now take a piece of the conference with them, a sporting piece as the conference has expanded its Big Ten Network (BTN) presence to cover both mobile users as well as expanding its footprint on the Internet.

The BTN2Go features the live sports feed of the programming that fills BTN, it is simply made available to users of smartphones, tablets or access the site via the Internet. The BTN has done a staged rollout of the program, it debuted with the start of the football season last year as an Internet-only feature and then expanded to the iPad and iPhone quickly afterwards. A version for Android-based phones is expected within the next month or so.

The goal of the effort to provide fans of Big Ten sports access to games anywhere, at any time on any device, said Michael Calderon, BTN’s vice president of digital and interactive media. The network is currently looking at other platforms such as Windows Phone and connected devices including game consoles and expects to launch a new platform with the start of next year’s football season, Calderon said.

Users have to be subscribers of the participating cable or broadband providers, a list that includes Bright House Networks, Charter, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

If you fall into that category then BTN2Go is free with no addition subscription needed and this gives you access to a huge amount of both current and past programming. First and foremost for many fans is the ability to watch live games. However games that are broadcast by BTN’s partners such as ABC and ESPN will be available the following day on-demand.

Calderon noted that a real benefit the program brings is for fans that do not live in the Big Ten area, where a game that are interested might not be broadcast, it will still be available on BTN2Go. Also when an event runs long, say the first of a basketball doubleheader, a user can still go to BTN2Go to watch the opening of the second game if that is the one they are interested in viewing.

The BTN has benefited from its founders foresight. When it was founded five years ago in ensured that it had control of all its digital rights so that the licensing issues that have the potential to stymie a program such as this do not exist.

Then there is also access to archival footage from earlier this season broadcast by both BTN and its partners. Of course there is highlight reels and coaches shows on a regular basis. The BTN also creates home grown series such as Original series such as The Journey, Big Ten Icons, Big Ten’s Best and The Big Ten’s Greatest Games that are also available for viewing.

Going forward the network is looking to add additional features to BNT2Go including possibly a social media module for Facebook and Twitter users, but for the first generation of the platform it focused on delivering a top video experience, Caldera said.


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