UW Women’s Athletics to Receive Great Coverage on BTN


With the promise of gender equity
by 2011, the Big Ten Network has given women’s sports a big lift in the amount
and type of television coverage they can expect. With the launch of the network
Aug. 30, the

Wisconsin women’s
intercollegiate program will gain unprecedented coverage of most of its 12
women’s programs in the first year.

In June,
Commissioner James E. Delany revealed that the Big Ten Network will become the
first national network to commit to “event equality” for men’s and
women’s sports on all network-controlled media within the first three years of

In its
first year alone, 40 percent of the Big Ten Network programming will feature
conference women’s sports. The network’s commitment to “event
equality” signals its intention to produce and distribute an equal number
of men’s and women’s events by year No. 3. This “event equality” will
provide the largest concentration of women’s athletics on any national network
in history while also providing more coverage to conference men’s sports than
ever before by utilizing all available network-controlled media.

The Big Ten Network will air more 600 hours of
programming during its inaugural year, which begins with the August 30 launch
of the national network. The network also will air at least 60 hours of the

University of
Wisconsin non-athletic programming on an
annual basis.

network will boast a programming lineup unparalleled in college sports
television today, featuring between 350 and 400 live events including football,
men’s and women’s basketball, Olympic sports, available conference
championships and more original high-definition programming than any new
network in television history.

Wisconsin women’s volleyball and soccer teams all will
make multiple appearances on the Big Ten Network this fall, when the complete
fall schedule to be announced soon. The network will air more than 55 women’s
basketball games during its inaugural year, including nine games from the Big
Ten Tournament, and more than 170 Olympic sport events in 2007-08.

The Big
Ten has a strong history of supporting gender equity, including becoming the
first conference to voluntarily adopt male/female participation goals for
student-athletes in 1992. The Big Ten initiated a five-year plan for conference
members to commit to a 60 percent/40 percent male to female student-athlete
participation ratio which was achieved as a conference in 1997, with all
schools individually meeting this goal by 2000. Over the past five years, the
Big Ten has maintained on average a 53 percent/47 percent male to female
participation ratio. Since 1992, Big Ten institutions have created in excess of
2,000 new opportunities for women’s student-athletes and established 28 new
women’s teams.

The Big
Ten Network is a national television network, available to all cable and
satellite providers nationwide, that will allow fans to see their home teams
regardless of where they live. The network currently has national agreements in
place with DirecTV and AT&T and also a local agreement with Buckeye
CableSystem in
for more than 150,000 subscribers in northwestern
and southeastern

Additionally, the network has agreements pending with more than 80 other cable
operators within the eight states of the Big Ten. In total, the network
currently is available to viewers in more than 16 million homes. The Big Ten
Network is a joint venture between subsidiari