The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Big Ten Network Picks Chicago

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 22, 2006 2:19PM

2006_12_sports_BigTen_Network.gifSometimes Chicagoist feels like we just can't watch any more college football or basketball. Yet even with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc., the vast majority of collegiate athletics fails to appear on-air. Maybe we'd love to change things up and watch that Northwestern vs. Minnesota tennis meet, or that heated Purdue-Indiana volleyball rivalry, or the Big Ten Cross Country Championships. And now we'll be able to, as the Big Ten Conference has announced the launch of a television network, which will be based here in Chicago.

The new Big Ten Network's studios and business offices will be located in the former Montgomery Wards catalog house at 600 W. Chicago — now a collection of loft condos, offices, Japonais, Kitch'n River North, etc.

While their announcement mentions providing greater exposure to other Big Ten sports, the bulleted highlights for the new network, launching in August 2007, include:

  1. Thirty five-plus football games, with each school having at least two games aired;
  2. At least 105 regular-season men's basketball games;
  3. At least 55 regular-season women's basketball games;
  4. Big Ten championships and tournaments;
  5. 170 Olympic sporting events; and,
  6. Coverage from the conference's vast library of historic sporting events, including bowl games.

So even here, we can't get the Hawkeyes-Badgers water polo match?

"It is fitting that the Big Ten Network, a channel dedicated exclusively to collegiate athletics and university life, will make its home in Chicago, a city that is so passionate about college sports and education," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany.

Wait ... did he say university life, too? Does that mean we'll be getting some late-night sorority-girl pillow-fight coverage on the new Big Ten Network? We'd gladly give up water polo for that!