Big Ten Lands Historic Media Rights Deal; More Expansion Ahead?

Big Ten Lands Historic Media Rights Deal; More Expansion Ahead? article feature image

Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: The Big Ten logo at Big Ten Media Days.

The Big Ten, less than two months after adding USC and UCLA, has landed the largest media rights agreement in college athletics history.

The deal with Fox, CBS, NBC, Peacock and FS1 is for seven years from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2030, and network sources told Action Network it’s worth between $7 billion and $8 billion.

The contract includes an escalator clause, meaning the deal could approach nearly $10 billion if the Big Ten’s membership increases, network sources said. Even after adding USC and UCLA, the Big Ten “is not done” expanding, sources told Action Network.

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Last month, Action Network reported the Big Ten would expand beyond 16 schools and was targeting Notre Dame, along with Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Cal from the Pac-12. Those plans have not changed, sources said this week.

Regardless of whether Notre Dame joins the Big Ten or remains independent, the league still wants to add more Pac-12 schools to help reduce potential travel concerns for USC and UCLA, sources said.

On Thursday, the Big Ten announced its media rights agreement, which includes splitting its football conference championship games between Fox (2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029), CBS (2024 and 2028) and NBC (2026).

The Big Ten’s new media rights agreements are backloaded in part because CBS is limited on how many Big Ten games it can show in 2023, the final year of its SEC contract.

In 2023-24, the league’s schools will receive the same conference distribution as they did in 2022-23 (nearly $60 million per school). The league’s payouts will increase slightly in Year 2 (2024-25) before drastically increasing the final five years of the deal from 2025-30, growing to about $100 million per school, including revenue from the College Football Playoff, bowl games and the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, who is in Napa Valley, California, attending Rose Bowl meetings with Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and other officials, said he was grateful the new media rights agreement will provide stability and maximum exposure for the league’s student-athletes.

“I’m excited about the creativity of what we’re going to be able to deliver to our fans and to our student-athletes and to our families,” Warren said.

Starting in 2023 under the new deal, Big Ten contests will be televised at noon ET on Fox, 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS and in prime time on NBC.

When USC and UCLA join in 2024, the Big Ten will be the only conference with league members in the top three media markets in the country (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago).

Breakdown of Football Games by Network

Fox and FS1 will televise 24-27 Big Ten football games in 2023 and 30-32 games annually from 2024-29.

CBS will televise seven Big Ten football games in 2023 and 14-15 regular season games annually from 2024-29. Every CBS Big Ten football and basketball broadcast will be streamed on Paramount+.

NBC will televise 16 Big Ten football games annually in 2023-29, including prime-time games on Labor Day Sunday and Black Friday. All of NBC’s games will be simul-streamed on Peacock.

Peacock will televise eight Big Ten football games annually from 2023-29.

The Big Ten Network will broadcast 38-41 football games in 2023 and at least that many annually from 2024-29.

All of the Big Ten’s network partners, with the exception of NBC, will televise Big Ten men’s basketball games. The majority will be on the Big Ten Network (126 men’s basketball games) followed by Fox and FS1 (45 games), Peacock (32-to-47 games) and CBS (9-to-15 games).

The networks will also televise Big Ten's women's basketball games and Olympic sports contests.

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