CHICAGO (AP) -The Big Ten Network reached an agreement on Thursday with satellite TV provider Dish Network, expanding the reach of the new channel.
The number of households with the network nationwide will initially increase from about 17 million to 28.5 million. In the eight states with Big Ten schools, the number will increase from 3.5 to 6.2 million.
Dish customers who subscribe to the America's Top 100 package or higher will have access to the channel through early 2008. After that, customers in the eight Big Ten states will get the channel on the America's Top 100 Plus service, which includes regional sports networks. It has yet to be determined how the channel will be made available to customers outside the eight states after that time.
The network was already airing on Dish on Thursday. The channel debuted Aug. 30 and offered its first live football games last weekend.
Satellite competitor DirecTV carried the network from the beginning. The Big Ten Network has yet to reach agreements with several major cable providers, leaving many fans in the eight states without access to the channel.

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