BTN2Go Lands Exclusive Live Football Game
A BTN representative confirms that this Saturday’s Minnesota-New Mexico State game (7 p.m. CT) will air live exclusively on BTN2Go, including in Minneapolis and the surrounding Minnesota markets. This will mark the first time that a Big Ten football game will air live exclusively on BTN2Go within the Big Ten footprint.
“With this game not being available anywhere else in the [Minnesota] market,” says Michael Calderon, VP, programming and digital media, BTN, “we’re really optimistic that we are going to get a strong response from viewers on this.”
The reasoning behind the stream lies in a multimedia-rights quirk. The Golden Gophers square off against New Mexico State, which, following the dissolving of the Western Athletic Conference this year, is playing its football season as an independent. As a result, New Mexico State currently owns its broadcast rights and, in turn, the broadcast rights to this home game.
New Mexico State’s AggieVision will produce the game, which will air with limited live, local distribution only on Fox Sports Arizona PLUS, Altitude 2, and Comcast providers in New Mexico. BTN stepped in for its Minnesota fan base and secured a deal with New Mexico State for the rights to carry AggieVision’s live production of the game for distribution on BTN2Go.
The game should be a huge traffic generator and will likely shatter the platform’s record for largest audience to watch a live-streamed event, which came earlier this year with an Iowa-Nebraska men’s basketball game.
That contest had been slated to air on ESPN2 on a Thursday but was cancelled because of a winter storm. The Big Ten was forced to move the game to the following Saturday, when ESPN2 was unable to televise it because of other commitments. BTN also had games scheduled for its air at that time, so the network turned to BTN2Go to stream the game live.
Iowa was an NCAA Tournament bubble team at the time, and, as a result, more than 40,000 people watched the stream. According to Calderon, that number “blew away” BTN2Go’s previous high for an event. With this live exclusive being a football game, the traffic is likely to be even greater.
The Minnesota-New Mexico State football game will air in the Minneapolis market on tape delay on Fox Sports North on Sunday at 10 a.m. and on Monday at 2 p.m.