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The Big Ten has found three big broadcast partners for its new long-term media rights deal, one that will give the athletic conference nearly $8 billion dollars through the 2029-2030 season.
CBS, NBC and Fox will be the Big Ten’s media partners, with games set to air on the broadcast networks, FS1 and the Big Ten Network. NBCU’s Peacock will also get a handful of exclusive football and basketball games, with Peacock and Paramount+ also set to simulcast games from their respective broadcast networks.
In a statement, NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua said that the deal will make Peacock “a year-round destination for the best in college sports.”
CBS and Fox have been Big Ten media partners for years (Fox owns the Big Ten Network, while CBS is home to the March Madness basketball tournament), while NBC is a new addition. NBC Sports also has the rights to Notre Dame football (the school sells its own rights), which will likely see the Fighting Irish playing more games against Big Ten teams.
The three media partners will share the Big Ten’s football championship game, with Fox set to televise four of the games over the course of the deal, CBS 2, and NBC 1.
The deal comes just a few weeks after the college sports world was rocked by the news that USC and UCLA would be departing the PAC-12 conference to join the Big Ten in 2024. With rights deals coming up, the athletic conferences are pursuing realignment to maximize the value of their deals. Adding USC and UCLA (and in turn the lucrative southern California TV market), the Big Ten was betting that it could boost the value of its new TV deals.
The conference noted in its press release that it will soon have teams in the top 3 media markets in the country: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Other Big Ten teams include the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Michigan Wolverines, the University of Wisconsin Badgers, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, and the Perdue Boilermakers.
“The Big Ten Conference media rights agreements are more than just dollars and deals. 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,” Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren said. “We are very grateful to our world-class media partners for recognizing the strength of the Big Ten Conference brand and providing the incredible resources we need for our student-athletes to compete at the very highest levels, and to achieve their academic and athletics goals.”
The deal also applies new pressure to the Pac-12, which began renegotiating its media deals earlier this summer after the USC and UCLA departures. While the rich new Big Ten deal bodes well for college sports rights valuations, the Pac-12, with its more regional teams, could face tough negotiations with TV networks looking to score a deal at a discount. Following the USC and UCLA departures, the Pac-12’s biggest members will include the Arizona Wildcats, the Oregon Ducks, and the Stanford Cardinals.
Endeavor served as a consultant on Big Ten’s media rights deals and its conference expansion.
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