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A minor instance of actual reporting.

In the last couple of days, there have been some rather persistent rumors online about whether DirecTV's relationship with the Big Ten Network was coming to an end on October 15. The story seems so obviously silly, given DTV's early involvement with the BTN, that it barely seemed worth the trouble, but more than one person reporting receiving such news from a DirecTV customer service representative. I decided to drop a line to Robert Mercer, director of public relations for DirecTV, to ask him whether there was any truth to the rumor that DirecTV is dropping the BTN. Mr. Mercer's prompt response, in full:

"No truth at all. Thanks."
I hesitated to send the e-mail, not wanting to give additional circulation to a rumor that defied belief in the first place. If you haven't heard the rumor, then I apologize for spreading it. But it seems to be false, and Mr. Mercer's response seems to be a flat denial with little wiggle room.
Update: After initially posting this, I received an e-mail that was even more unequivocal, if that's possible, from Will Stegemann of DirectTV:
Thank you for writing us about the Big Ten Network. Mr. Mercer sent me your message and asked me to contact you. I assure you that DIRECTV is not dropping The Big Ten Network. We've moved it to a new location, channel 610, but just like last year we will be carrying the channel as well as alternate feeds to show as many Big Ten Conference games as possible. DIRECTV customers can check the neighboring channels on game days to find the games they are looking for. Thanks again for writing and best of luck to your Hoosiers on Saturday.
That seems to settle it.