Pollard on the Big Ten Network

Published: June 11 2010 | 11:42 am - Updated: 31 March 2014 | 2:40 am in
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Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard believes the Big Ten Network changed the game of college athletics.

During an Iowa Association of Business and Industry meeting in Ames on Thursday, Pollard argued the notion that the University of Iowa doesn't receive subsidies.

A clip of the interview was played Friday morning on the the Jon Miller and Steve Deace Show.

"The Big Ten Network completely changed the television industry," Pollard said. "Anybody who’s got cable or DirecTV, you’re paying the Big Ten. Whether you’re an Iowa State fan, a UNI fan or a Drake fan, you’re paying Iowa a big chunk of money."

The BTN has 17.6 million subscribers inside an eight-state conference "footprint'' (geographical area) and 27.5 million outside. Those numbers fueled Pollard's point. The network receives 88 cents per subscriber per month inside its footprint and 5 cents outside, according to a piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The BTN turned a profit in its second year of operation, incredibly fast for a fledgling TV network.

"The Big Ten's model is no longer about advertising. It's about households," Pollard said. "And so within the Big Ten footprint, there are 22 or 23 million households. And every month, they're giving the Big Ten about 75 cents every cable bill. Multiply that by all the households, it adds up pretty quickly."

Big Ten schools will receive $19.9 million apiece through all revenue streams this year. The University of Texas made $10.2 million in TV revenue in 2007, according to the Omaha World-World Herald.

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