Ah, for the halcyon days of summer, when no games were played and the then-unseen Big Ten Network was a daily obsession of this blog. Per this post from mgoblog
, the Chicago Tribune reports
optimism, progress, productive conversations, etc., between the BTN and Comcast, the midwest's largest cable provider. Ed Sherman of the Trib surmises that that the BTN must have come off of its $1.10 asking price. That goes in the "no shit, Sherlock" category. BTN officials have made clear, on numerous occasions, that the $1.10 figure is at most a "sticker price." And in the post linked above, Brian indicates that over the summer, a Comcast official acknowledged that the company might pay 25 cents a subscriber for BTN placement on expanded basic. So, the number resides somewhere in between $.25 and $1.10, and it's about damn time they find it. As Sherman's article notes, the BTN has 60 days remaining of basketball coverage, which is the BTN's main bargaining chip, and then nearly five months of Olympic sports before football starts. Comcast is big enough to tolerate some loss of subscribers, but my anecdotal contribution to this whole affair is that I have a fairly short commute, but see an AT&T Uverse truck nearly every day. They need each other.
Also, mgoblog's post is worth a look for the discussion of Jay Bilas's unprofessional reaction to Michigan's highly justifiable firing of Bilas's old teammate Tommy Amaker. Most of the time, Bilas is one of the best college basketball analysts around and one of the few tolerable voices at ESPN, but Michigan fans are right to be pissed about this. Tommy Amaker's teams played like garbage and he's a few million richer for having failed at Michigan. He has a coaching job, he's young, and he has the Duke connections. If he's any good, he'll have the chance to prove it in the future, even without Jay Bilas sacrificing his integrity to rehabilitate his buddy's (deservedly) bad reputation.