Wisconsin Badgers news, 5/20: BTN inks TV deal

USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten's footprint grows as the BTN inks deals with two major cable providers out east. Finally, some good news for Rutgers.

BTN inked deals with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision on Tuesday, bringing the channel to millions more homes out East. That's good news for Maryland and Rutgers, especially. Network officials are also optimistic a deal will be reached with Comcast before football season starts.

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com's Big Ten Blog has an in-depth look at the amount of money conference teams pay opponents.

In 2012-13, Ohio State led the nation in money paid to opponents ($7,999,881), followed by Minnesota ($4,799,383) and Wisconsin ($3,987,864). Two other Big Ten teams -- Michigan State ($3,650,864) and Indiana ($3,375,562) -- finished in the top 10, and 10 schools finished in the top 25.

Also relevant here is the demand for non-conference home games, which have grown in demand since the Big Ten decided to move to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016.

"The issue with nine is inventory," Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said. "You're trying to schedule all [FBS] schools. The inventory becomes questionable. People don't want to go home-and-home. You try to stay at seven games at home, it's very difficult to do that in the year that you have four Big Ten games at home. So there are some issues." 

Former Wisconsin prep standout Mickey Crowe (not of "Justified" fame, as far as I can tell) is having a book signing Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the University Bookstore at Hilldale Mall.

The first college football preseason watch list for 2014 was released Monday. The Rimington Trophy list includes 48.4 percent of FBS starting centers, so naturally Wisconsin's Dan Voltz made the list. Woohoo!

Paul Imig at Fox Sports Wisconsin explores the Green Bay Packers' future at wide receiver in light of the team drafting three wideouts earlier this month, including former Badger Jared Abbrederis. 

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