Alright, so as we all know, the first two Wisconsin Badgers basketball games were shown on ESPN3.com. Why isn't the Big Ten Network showing these games? Is the Big Ten Network just showing less games overall this season or do they just not find this edition of Wisconsin basketball riveting? To answer these questions, I decided to take a look at last year's non-conference home coverage of the basketball team compared to this year's. Here's what I found:
2009: BTN 4 (IPFW, Cal Poly, Illinois-Chicago, Milwaukee), BigTenNetwork.com 2 (Grambling State, Oakland), ESPN 1 (Duke), ESPN2 1 (Marquette)
2010: ESPN3.com 3 (Prairie View A&M, South Dakota, North Dakota), BTN 2 (Green Bay, Milwaukee), BigTenNetwork.com 1 (Coppin State), ESPN2 1 (NC State)
So, both seasons the Badgers had 6 home non-conference games that were not televised by ESPN/ESPN2. Last season the Big Ten Network televised 4 of them and put 2 of them on the pay-to-watch BigTenNetwork.com. This year, only 2 on the Big Ten Network, 3 on ESPN3.com, and 1 on BigTenNetwork.com. So although the BTN is televising less Badger games this year, there is one less "pay-to-watch" game overall this season thanks to ESPN3 covering some games. I'm just interested in what changed this last offseason that made ESPN3 get involved in covering Badger games.
In conclusion, the Big Ten Network is covering 2 less non-conference games this season. But there is also one less "pay-to-watch" game on BigTenNetwork.com this season. Those remaining 3 games were picked up by ESPN3.com, which is free, but not available to people of all internet providers.