Score: ESPN's Revsine Heads To Big Ten Net As Lead Host

The Big Ten Network has snagged a well-known ESPN personality to serve as lead studio host--a signal that the part-News Corp. venture, devoted solely to the Big Ten conference, wants to quickly grow beyond its niche. Dave Revsine, who gained prominence as the host of ESPN's World Cup coverage back in 1998 and appeared on the network as recently as this weekend, will host a nightly studio show on the BTN when it debuts in August.

Revsine, a graduate of Big Ten member Northwestern, has covered college football extensively on ESPN Radio for six straight years. His hire marks the network's first on-air appointment. In addition to the Revsine-orchestrated studio show, the network promises some 350-400 live conference events a year, including more than 35 football games.

"When I got on the plane after my first interview, I knew that this was where I wanted to be," Revsine said. "I'm glad they shared that opinion."

Revsine has been with ESPN since 1996. He starts his position July 1.

The Big Ten Network says it will soon announce additional hires, including studio analysts. ESPN also has a contract with the conference to air many of its games.

The network currently has distribution in 16 million homes, led by DirecTV, which gives it national distribution from day one. AT&T's telco offering is also on board, as are several Midwest cable systems in the 11-member Big Ten footprint.

The network, owned jointly by the Big Ten conference (majority owner) and News Corp.'s cable arm, promises to carry more than 105 regular-season men's college basketball games, in addition to the large football slate.

Revsine's move echoes ESPN veteran Rich Eisen's shift to the fledgling NFL Network several years ago to host a flagship nightly studio show.

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