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Big Ten Network-Comcast dispute could leave Maryland football fans in the dark

The ongoing contract squabble between Big Ten Network and Comcast could mean Maryland fans will have a hard time watching the Terps during the 2018 football season.

Big Ten Network took to social media Thursday, with a 30-second spot on Twitter featuring many of the league’s football coaches imploring fans to voice their concerns to Comcast.

The current contract between Big Ten Network and Comcast expires Aug. 31, the day before Maryland opens the season against Texas at FedEx Field in Landover. The game is scheduled to be shown on Fox Sports 1.

Maryland’s home opener against Temple on Sept. 15 is scheduled to be televised by Big Ten Network. Last season, eight of Maryland’s games were either shown on BTN or FS1.

BTN president Mark Silverman addressed the issue at Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago last month, calling the protracted negotiations ”our biggest challenge since the launch of the network” in 2007.

According to Silverman, proposals by BTN and FS1 last winter have yet to elicit a “substantive response” from Comcast, which said in a statement the two sides are in communication.

In April, Comcast discontinued showing Big Ten Network outside the league’s markets.

The Wall Street Journal reported BTN is seeking to increase its carriage fee.

“The good news is that Comcast will be alone if they decide to drop BTN and those Big Ten games on FS1,” Silverman said. “These games are available on many different television providers, cable, satellite and the new internet providers as well, and viewers will have no trouble finding alternative providers in their area.”

don.markus@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sportsprof56

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