The Big Ten solidifies itself as one of the two premier college athletic conferences in the country by completing a 7-year media rights deal with Fox, CBS, and NBC.
The historic deal, that is worth $7 billion, will be distributed amongst the programs in the Big Ten with every school getting between $80 to $100 million per year.
Although USC and UCLA came in late on the deal, the power move by these two historical programs to join the Big Ten almost certainly helped close the deal. The three networks would have access to premium sports coverage from coast to coast.
Fox, CBS, and NBC will all take part in covering the Big Ten football championship games. With Fox being the primary partner for the Big Ten, they will host 4 out of the 7 championship games. CBS would cover 2 games while NBC would cover 2026 Big Ten football championship game.
This deal will not begin until July of 2023, which would effectively end the deal with ESPN. Last week, ESPN announced they had pulled out of the media rights talk with the Big Ten. A difference in opinion on owning windows for football games is what set things apart.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren spent over 21 years as an NFL executive. His vision for the future of the Big Ten and its media relations took a lot of inspiration from the NFL. The way the NFL separates games between multiple media outlets was huge.
Ultimately, Warren and fellow Big Ten executives felt that the NFL way of sharing media rights deals was the best way to go
However, ESPN will continue to be one of the leaders in college athletics. The sports media giants new deal with the SEC starts in 2024, and the deal with the ACC is good until 2035.
Lastly, it is great to note that it wasn’t just Fox, CBS, NBC, and ESPN looking to get the media rights of the Big Ten. Turner Broadcasting, Apple, and Amazon were all looking to get a piece of the pie.