(Insert forewarning here about my lack of expertise in TV ratings/operations.) Basically, to carry a channel, cable companies have to pay the provider the cost per subscriber (which varies based on the desirability of the channel, obviously). Most of that cost is then passed on to subscribers. ESPN, for example, is $3.00 per subscriber, but everybody wants it, so companies like Comcast and Cablevision and Time Warner are more or less obligated to carry it. They refused (and Time Warner still refuses) to carry NFL Network because the cost is between $0.61 and $0.75 (depending on who you believe), and they feel that it wouldn’t make sense to have somewhat of a niche channel on basic cable, where every subscriber pays for it. Most people don’t want to pay even 61 cents a month for something they never watch. The only way you can get it is on a premium package, because then you’re paying the cost directly.
If Rutgers joined the Big Ten, it'd be safe to assume that the same thing would happen with the Big Ten Network. The Big Ten has far fewer interested fans than the NFL does in New York/New Jersey, so there’s no way Time Warner and Cablevision (which comprise pretty much all of the New York TV market) would put it on basic cable, especially when you consider the price.
The cost per subscriber is $1.14, so that amount times the metro New York population of 18.8 million (if EVERYONE got the channel on basic cable) would be around $22 million, which is exactly what the Big Ten should be looking to generate from a new school in order for each school to make money via expansion (each school currently gets $22 million from the TV revenue pot). There are also around 8 million people in
But it’s not gonna happen, because most of those subscribers aren’t going to get it on basic cable (maybe some will in
I know some people say getting more exposure in the Northeast would help in other ways, but I’m not sure what those other ways are. The number of D-I football prospects in
Upshot: Other than a not-that-significant boost in TV revenue, I don’t see adding