24 hours of Iowa on BTN

May 23, 2008

With tons of live games and highlights from late August through late May, the Big Ten Network had few problems filling its daily programming schedule … until now.

The BTN hopes to avoid a June ratings swoon by giving Big Ten viewers a full day to bask in highlights, old games, recaps and campus programming of their favorite school. For Iowa, that begins at 5 a.m. June 4 and lasts until 5 a.m. June 5.

The schedule features two of Iowa’s “Greatest Games” — the 1995 men’s basketball win against No. 6 UConn at the Great Alaska Shootout; and the 1990 football upset at Michigan that propelled the Hawkeyes to the 1991 Rose Bowl. The network twice will replay the 2008 Big Ten Wrestling Championships as well as games featuring women’s basketball, field hockey and softball.

There’s also the debut of Iowa: Year In Review, a 30-minute show that will be replayed five more times during the time block.

For non-sporting types, three hours of campus programming also is in the mix. There’s a one-hour feature on James Van Allen (makes sense) and hour-long episodes on Lasansky (I assume the gallery) and Project 3000 (an effort to find all people afflicted with Leber congenital amaurosis LCA).

If you remember, the BTN offered the 11 Big Ten schools 60 hours annually for university (see non-athletic) programming. Iowa’s faculty was so excited it made more suggestions for programming than it usually does for new government programs. I’d be interested in knowing how the ratings for these programs compare with an Iowa field hockey match. Of course, if Mediacom doesn’t pick up the Big Ten Network, the ratings aren’t going to matter too much.