There's a glaring difference between the letters, however. Bill Martin speaks to the economic forces involved, the duplicity of Comcast, and the benefits of the BTN:
"The Big Ten Network is about more than just the 40 football games produced each year. We will have at least 13 men's basketball games on the BTN, at least seven of which are conference games. In total the BTN will broadcast 140 men's basketball games and 55 women's basketball games. In the past, coverage of our men's basketball game was sporadic at best (last year 10 games weren't covered at all, and 11 games were syndicated with limited local coverage), and coverage of women's basketball was virtually non-existent. When the BTN achieves its distribution goals, coverage for all of our sports will be much broader and deeper.The Big Ten Network is also more than just sports - it is really an extension of our schools, with 660 hours of campus programming and a dedication to no alcohol advertising and event-equity for men's and women's sports. We believe the network is totally in line with the values of our conference, institutions and fans."
Gene Smith's letter?????
"As the network enters it's second season, we are proud of all the Ohio State programming on the network and we are proud of how the network represents the rest of the Big Ten. In its first year on the air, the Big Ten Network featured more than 200 hours of Buckeye programming, including four football games, 22 men's and women's basketball games and two Buckeye classics, the 2003 National Championship victory over Miami and the thrilling 2006 defeat of Michigan." (emphasis added)
He also points out to his readers "Seven in 10 homes in the Big Ten states now have the network, versus 4 in Ohio. It is a shame that due to Time Warner's decision, nearly all Michigan fans have the network, but Buckeye fans do not."
That's right Geney. We win. You lose. No matter how much you pound on us on the football field we still trump. In fact, this week's BTN programming is ALL Michigan ALL the time. On Tuesday (Aug. 26), the Network will air Big Ten Legends: Lloyd Carr, debuting at 6 p.m., followed by the kickoff of season two of The Big Ten’s Greatest Games, which will feature Michigan’s 2000 Orange Bowl overtime win against Alabama, beginning at 7 p.m. (yeah, season premiere of Greatest Game doesn't involve you!) Then on Friday (Aug. 29) at 8:30 p.m., the Wolverines will be the focus on the season premiere of Big Ten Friday Night Tailgate presented by Nissan. This weekend will also mark the debut of former Wolverine tight end Tony McGee on the Big Ten Network. McGee joins the BTN this season as an analyst during the network's weekend football coverage.
So maybe you don't really want the BTN afterall........