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Big Ten lands lucrative media rights deal

Football
Abobe Stock
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Conference officials say starting in 2023, the media rights deal will enable Big Ten Conference football to dominate Saturdays in the fall from morning into the night.

The Big Ten conference has inked a billion dollar a year media deal.

The deal involves NBC Sports, Fox Sports, CBS and NBC’s Peacock streaming service. The deal, which runs through the 2029-2030 season, is the most lucrative in college sports history.

But Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren says media deals are about more than money.

“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,” said Warren.

Conference officials say starting in 2023, the media rights deal will enable Big Ten Conference football to dominate Saturdays in the fall from morning into the night.

With the additions of USC and UCLA in 2024, the media deal will enable the Big Ten conference to reach a nationwide audience from coast to coast, including the top three media markets in the country in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

In addition to football, the deal includes Big Ten women’s and men’s basketball and Olympic sport athletics.

The Big Ten Conference new media agreements grant the following rights to their partners:

BTN will maintain its strong position as the home for Big Ten fans, as the network will continue to televise a full slate of football, basketball and Olympic sport competition throughout the entire year.

CBS’ initial season in 2023 will include seven football games and both regular season and postseason men’s basketball action, along with the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament final appearing on CBS for the first time. The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals and final will continue the tradition of airing on CBS, which they have done for 25 years. Every CBS Big Ten football and basketball broadcast will also be streamed on Paramount+, Paramount Global’s direct-to-consumer streaming service.

Starting in 2024, CBS will televise up to 15 regular-season football games per season, including an annual Black Friday game in the afternoon. CBS is America's most-watched network for the past 14 years and the highest-rated college football network.

FOX has renewed its agreement to televise football and men’s basketball games each season, with the opportunity to carry additional sports throughout the year. The Big Ten Conference’s partnership with FOX reached its high point during the 2021-22 year, as FOX captured the #1 time slot in college football for the first time with its Big Noon Saturday platform that featured 10-14 games involving a Big Ten team, and a men’s basketball season that ended with the top three most watched games in the history of FS1 all featuring Big Ten programs.

NBC will produce 14 to 16 games on broadcast television each season as it introduces college football fans to Big Ten Saturday Night. Each Big Ten game on NBC broadcast will also be simul-streamed on Peacock, NBCUniversal's direct-to-consumer streaming service. NBC Sports has established the most dominant primetime franchise in television history, as its Sunday Night Football has been primetime’s No. 1 show for an unprecedented 11 consecutive years — a streak that is currently active.

Peacock, NBCUniversal's direct-to-consumer streaming service, will deliver exclusive Big Ten football and basketball games each season, as eight regular-season football games will appear on the platform along with as many as 47 regular-season men’s basketball games (32 conference and 15 non-conference) and 30 regular-season women’s basketball games (20 conference and 10 non-conference).

CBS, FOX and NBC will combine efforts to televise the seven Big Ten Football Championship Games during the term.

CBS: 2024, 2028

FOX: 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029

NBC: 2026

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.