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New network to launch Aug. 30, dive into games

CHICAGO -- The Big Ten Network will launch Aug. 30 with a
highlight show and follow two days later with its first football games.

The network will go on the air at 8 p.m. ET on a
Thursday. On Saturday, there will be regional coverage of
Appalachian State-Michigan, Youngstown State-Ohio State, Florida
International-Penn State and Northeastern-Northwestern.

The conference Monday also announced distribution commitments
for more than 75 local cable systems serving viewers in the eight
states in which there are Big Ten schools.

"We're well on our way toward ensuring that roughly half the
subscribers to smaller cable systems across the Midwest have better
access to their favorite Big Ten schools and teams than anytime in
history," Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman said in a statement.

The Big Ten also has an agreement with DirecTV. The conference
has been feuding with Comcast over whether the cable provider,
which has 5.7 million subscribers in the eight states, will carry
the network.