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Friday, June 14, 2024

Big Ten Finalizes Landmark Media Rights Deal Worth At Least $7B

  • The Big Ten has finalized a blockbuster partnership with NBC, Fox, CBS, and Peacock.
  • The deal is likely the largest in college sports history.
Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

After much anticipation, the Big Ten has finalized a blockbuster media rights partnership that is the largest in all of college sports.

The deal is at least $7 billion total, sources confirmed to Front Office Sports. The rights will be shared between FOX, CBS, NBC, and NBC’s Peacock, and include not only football and basketball but all olympic sports. They’ll run from July 1, 2023 to the end of the 2029-30 season.

In total, the deal will reach the mid-$7 billion range, a source told FOS. But it will slowly increase throughout the seven years. The first year, before USC and UCLA join the conference, each existing school will receive about the same amount as it does in the final year of its current deal. Then, with the additions of the Bruins and Trojans, the value will go up to the $90 million a year range.

It’s a major coup for Commissioner Kevin Warren, whose initial tenure with the Big Ten began with controversy over the handling of college football during COVID-19.

“The Big Ten Conference media rights agreements are more than just dollars and deals,” Warren said in a statement. “They are a mechanism to provide stability and maximum exposure for our student-athletes, member institutions and partners during these uncertain times in collegiate athletics.”

The Big Ten says it will “dominate” Saturday football. It will include marquee games at noon ET on Fox, 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS, and primetime on NBC. NBC will attempt to make the Big Ten the “NFL” of college football, using the Saturday night window as a complement to Sunday night football, as FOS previously reported. NBC games will be “simul-streamed” on Peacock. The Big Ten football championships will be split between the networks.

The Big Ten Network, owned by Fox, appears to hold the majority of olympic sports content. CBS will host men’s and women’s basketball, and broadcast the women’s basketball championship for the first time. Fox will also carry men’s basketball.

The deal also marks the first time in four decades that ESPN will not be part of the Big Ten’s media rights. The Worldwide Leader in Sports will now look to renew NCAA championships including women’s basketball and the College Football Playoff, sources previously told FOS. It’s also looking at Big 12 and Pac-12 media rights.

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