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Naples Daily News (Florida)


Comcast has dropped the Big Ten Network from states it considers outside of "Big Ten states" and the channel already is off the lineup in Southwest Florida, where legions of transplants and seasonal residents from those states live full or part time.

Reports of Comcast dropping the Big Ten Network sent college sports fans into a frenzy Thursday afternoon while simultaneously blowing up the mentions of the @comcastcares Twitter account.

Most of the confusion and outrage stemmed from the fact that no one seemed to know what exactly was going on, leaving a lot of unanswered questions out there.

Comcast will drop the Big Ten Network from its cable television system in states where there are no teams in the conference.

The Big Ten Network will remain available on Comcast Xfinity in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Comcast is not available in Nebraska and Iowa.

BTN posted on Twitter to fans: "Comcast XFinity has decided unilaterally to drop BTN in many markets. All of their competitors still carry BTN everywhere. We at BTN share your disappointment. Let Comcast know how you feel."

Comcast said Thursday in a statement it regularly evaluates its channel lineups, looking at what programmers charge to carry the channels, viewership information and available alternatives. Comcast says out-of-market drops have already started and will be completed in May.

The Comcast customer support Twitter account repeatedly tweeted versions of the same statement, which was also sent to USA Today's "For The Win" via email by Comcast spokesperson Jenni Moyer:

"We are not dropping Big Ten Network in states where there are Big Ten schools," she said. "We are only dropping it in out-of-market states where there are no Big Ten schools."

While that answers some questions, it raises others. Mainly, what constitutes being an out-of-network market?

How does New York's proximity to Rutgers and Washington, D.C.'s to Maryland factor in? They're technically not in the states of these schools, but it's hard to argue they're out-of-market.

Moyer also wrote to FTW in an email that "In-market core Big Ten states" include Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

However, in responses on Twitter from @comcastcares, Big Ten fans in D.C. are safe but New Yorkers are not.

Additionally, depending on where you live outside of the designated markets, you might have another month or so of service or you've already lost BTN.

Regardless of which category you fall into, Big Ten sports fans around the country are not happy with Comcast's move and, of course, vented about it on social media.

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April 14, 2018


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