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Thursday, June 13, 2024

ESPN Rejects $380M Per Year Offer, Gives Up Big Ten Media Rights

  • The network rejected an expensive deal, ending a 40-year partnership.
  • The two competing Super Conferences will reign supreme.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

As negotiations for the Big Ten media rights package wrap up, it looks like the conference will end its partnership with ESPN after four decades. 

The worldwide leader in sports reportedly rejected an offer that would cost $380 million a year for seven years, a source confirmed to FOS. Instead, the Big Ten’s football and basketball rights will go to a combination of FOX, NBC, CBS, and a yet-to-be-named streamer.

Sports Business Journal first reported the news.

The news is somewhat unsurprising given that the Disney network signed an exclusive 10-year deal in 2020 for SEC football and basketball rights for $80 million less per year. 

The news only feeds into a dynamic that has recently become an inevitability: In FBS football, two “Super Conferences” in the Big Ten and SEC will reign supreme above everyone else.

  • Last year, Texas and Oklahoma — the Big 12’s biggest football brands — announced they would join the SEC in 2025.
  • In June, USC and UCLA announced a move to the Big Ten from the Pac-12.

Now, the networks have joined that fight — with the SEC on ESPN and the Big Ten primarily on Fox.

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