Big Ten Network has home in Windy City

The Big Ten Network announced today the official location for its
studios and business offices in Chicago. The network will be
headquartered in the historic Montgomery Ward building located in Chicago
’s
Near North neighborhood. The announcement was made at a press conference
at the site by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois Department of
Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin, Big Ten
Commissioner James E. Delany, Fox Sports Networks President Bob Thompson
and Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman.

“It is fitting that the Big Ten Network, a
channel dedicated exclusively to collegiate athletics and university
life, will make its home in Chicago, a city that is so passionate about
college sports and education,
” said Delany.

The Big Ten Network studios will be located in a 44,000 square-foot
office space at 600 West Chicago, formerly the Montgomery Ward & Co.
Catalog House. The original section of the building was designated as a
national historic landmark in 2000 for its significant role in American
retail history. The space will include two studios and three control
rooms as well as a 20,000 square-foot office space.

“Like our Olympic bid, the launch of this
network in Chicago is one more indication of Chicago
’s
long-term commitment to amateur and Olympic sports,

said Mayor Daley.
“We love athletics at every
level, and that includes the Big Ten. Chicago is filled with Big Ten
graduates. If you walk through many of our neighborhoods on a Saturday
afternoon in the fall, you
’ll see banners of
Big Ten schools hanging on front porches and apartment windows.

“The Big Ten Network understands that Chicago
is more than just a terrific sports town, but it is also a fantastic
place to launch and grow a business,
” Gov.
Rod R. Blagojevich said.

The Governor and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity are providing a nearly $3.2 million business investment
package to support the Big Ten Network.

“Chicago is the country
’s
third largest media market, and the largest market in the Big Ten
footprint,
” said Thompson.
“It
’s
centrally located to the Big Ten
’s 11 member
institutions, and they
’ll all be involved in
the network
’s rich programming content, be it
sports- or institutionally-related.

“The space that the Big Ten Network will
occupy in the former Montgomery Ward building is perfect for our office
and studio needs,
” added Silverman.
“The
production facilities we plan to construct will be state-of-the-art, and
we
’re looking forward to building-out the
space immediately so it will be completed well in advance of our August
launch.

The Big Ten Network will carry many of the games and events previously
available only through syndication, providing greater exposure for these
and other Big Ten sports. The sports programming on the Big Ten Network
and/or through alternative Big Ten Network platforms will include, but
is not limited to:

35-plus football games, with each school having at least two games
aired (at least one of which will be a conference game);

At least 105 regular-season men
’s
basketball games;

At least 55 regular-season women
’s
basketball games;

Big Ten championships and tournaments;

170 Olympic sporting events; and,

Coverage from the conference
’s vast library
of historic sporting events, including bowl games.

The Big Ten Conference
’s compelling athletic
competition positions the network as the go-to destination for Big Ten
alumni and fans across the nation. In addition to traditional
distribution through cable and satellite, select Big Ten Network content
will also be available through alternative media platforms such as the
Internet, iPods, cell phones and/or other emerging technologies.

The real estate agreement was negotiated by Robert Sevim, David Gordon,
Kelly Givins with Studley Inc. on behalf of the Big Ten Network and Brad
Despot and Gary Kostecki with Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of the
building ownership group of Taconic Investment Partners, Angelo Gordon &
Co., Centrum Properties and Amerimar Enterprises. Financial terms of the
deal were not disclosed.