Big Ten Network Explores Hybrid TV Everywhere in BTN2Go Redesign
In a continuing trend toward reduced fragmentation across mobile platforms, Big Ten Network has redesigned its popular BTN2Go platform to bring all of the conference’s video content under one digital roof.
Working with on-demand-content–platform provider NeuLion, BTN has built a new BTN2Go that allows viewers on any Web-enabled device to continue to watch the network’s live authenticated television events on mobile, combining that with the subscription-based online-exclusive live content that used to fall under the Big Ten Digital Network. That content is now called BTN Plus.
“We listen to fan and viewer feedback every day, and it’s easier today than ever before to know what the fans and viewers are thinking about your products,” says Michael Calderon, VP, programming and digital media, Big Ten Network. “One of the things we were frequently asked was, Why were there two different platforms? What’s the difference between the two? That was a huge reason why we decided to consolidate the two.”
All in all, the new platform makes it simpler for fans to see what live events are available to watch on either platform, in one interface: what NeuLion is referring to as “hybrid TV Everywhere.”
“If you look at the cost and value of live sports, the only appointment you’re going to keep is live sports,” says Chris Wagner, EVP, marketplace strategy, NeuLion. “All other forms of entertainment are going on-demand. As a result, the engagement online is much longer for live sports events. Live means more audience, and they stay online longer. So the more live content that you have, the longer the fan engagement you’re going to get. Plus the fees are high, so all of the rightsholders of content are pulling models that are allowing them to get as much ROI and get on as many screens as possible.”
BTN is the second NeuLion partner to launch this hybrid TV Everywhere model. Earlier this year, Tennis Channel debuted Tennis Channel Everywhere and Tennis Channel Plus, leveraging different live-content rights held by Tennis Channel for its pay-TV affiliates and direct-to-consumer fans.