June 20, 2010
Madison, Wis. - The Big Ten Conference's illustrious history is defined by its many student-athletes who numbered national champions, All-Americans and Olympians. Their jerseys hang from the rafters. They are the standard against which all others are measured, the players who made the conference big.
Beginning this fall, the Big Ten Network will celebrate these individuals with its most ambitious project in its three-year history - a multi-platform event whose centerpiece is a new 20-episode series, Big Ten Icons, hosted by legendary college sports broadcaster Keith Jackson. The show debuts Sept. 18 following a Big Ten Network football telecast in which Icon No. 20 will be revealed. The countdown continues every Tuesday night through the end of football season and into the spring. The No. 1 Big Ten Icon will be revealed around the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
Prior to the show's on-air launch, Icons 50 through 21 will be revealed online daily beginning in early September at www.BigTenIcons.com and www.facebook.com/BigTenIcons. The website will include a text and video feature on each Icon. The top-50 list and the order were determined by a panel of on-air talent, network executives, conference officials and long-time Big Ten observers.
A number of Big Ten Icon Bobbleheads were unveiled at the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament last March including that of Wisconsin Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne. Dayne’s bobblehead made several appearances this summer at the Badger Days events.
There is also a fun online contest – the "Bobblethon" – which runs through the end of July. Big Ten fans are encouraged to go online and click on their favorite bobblehead. The university that receives the most clicks during the Bobblethon will win $10,000 for its alumni association's scholarship fund. Fans also will get a chance to win a trip for two to a Big Ten football game of their choice and other great prizes.
About the Big Ten Network: The Big Ten Network is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With approximately 350 live events, and nearly all of them in HD, the network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country, allowing them to see their favorite teams, regardless of where they live. The network operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, showcasing a wide array of classic-to-current sports and televising more Olympic sporting events and women's sports than has ever been aired on any other network. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation's finest universities. Each year, the network offers between 35 and 40 football games, 105 regular season men's basketball games; 55 women's basketball games; dozens of Big Ten Championship events; studio shows; coaches' shows; and classic games. Available to all cable and satellite providers nationwide and in Canada, the network currently has agreements with more than 300 affiliates, including AT&T U-Verse, Atlantic Broadband, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox (Cleveland, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Omaha), DirecTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Rogers Cable (Canada), Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct (Canada), Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS. For updated information on the Big Ten Network, go to www.BigTenNetwork.com.