Big Ten logo The logo of the Big Ten Conference is seen on a yard marker during Iowa Hawkeyes football Kids Day at Kinnick open practice, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. 210814 Ia Fb Kids Day 109 Jpg

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Fox “already has a deal in place” to be the Big Ten’s main media partner going forward.

Ourand adds that Mark Silverman (Fox Sports president and COO) and Larry Jones (Fox Sports executive vice president of business) will assist Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren in deciding who else gets Big Ten media rights, with ESPN, CBS, NBC, Turner, Amazon, and Apple likely to make competitive pitches (ESPN, CBS, and NBC have already had such meetings with Fox Sports and the Big Ten).

Fox Sports is also the majority owner of the Big Ten Network.

While specifics of Fox’s deal are unclear, Ourand reports that Fox “will have the main package and its deal will feature at least as many games as its current deal, probably more.” Fox has been carrying 27 Big Ten football games per season.

Additionally, Ourand reports that the number of Big Ten games going to Fox is “dependent on how the conference structures these other packages,” and the Big Ten “expects to award these packages by Memorial Day.”

ESPN and NBC have made it clear in recent months that they would like to get in on the bidding war for Big Ten rights. And CBS is surely very interested in the Big Ten as a way to replace its SEC football games (headed to ESPN after the 2023 season).

Many in the industry have believed that the Big Ten rights could top $1 billion per year.

[Sports Business Journal]

About Matt Clapp

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