Comcast, Big Ten Network near deal

It’s too late for the just-about-to-conclude college basketball season, but Comcast and the Big Ten Network are close to a deal that would put the new college sports net on its extended basic package.

Comcast recently dropped a provision in its stance, stating BTN was a “niche” channel, and should be regulated only to a sports tier. Currently, BTN is not available on Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, or Mediacom cable systems.

But if a deal with Comcast is achieved, the channel could be in place just in time for the Big Ten football season this fall, plus it could also thaw negotiations between the other cable company holdouts.

Already, BTN is available on Dish Network and Direct TV, and on Chicago RCN and WOW cable systems. BTN is also available on WOW systems in Ohio and Michigan.