The Big Ten media rights negotiations appear to be nearing a conclusion, and with ESPN reportedly on the outside looking in.
Tonight's SBJ Media
* Fox, CBS and NBC emerge as front runners for Big Ten deals
* ESPN, Amazon still talking, but both are on the outside looking in
* Deals could be completed as early as this week or nexthttps://t.co/p7BVat3fcl
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) August 9, 2022
That was soon followed by a report from Brett McMurphy of The Action Network that the Big Ten is “finalizing” media rights deals with Fox, CBS, and NBC.
Big Ten finalizing media rights deal w/Fox Sports, CBS & NBC, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. 1st reported by @Ourand_SBJ. Unless there’s a last minute change, this will be 1st time in 40 years Big Ten football & basketball games will not be on ESPN, @Ourand_SBJ reports
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 9, 2022
In April, Ourand reported that Fox was set to be the Big Ten’s main media partner going forward. In the months since that report, it’s mainly been a question of what additional network(s) are also part of the conference’s media rights.
So, Fox will have the Big Ten’s “A” package, and Ourand reports that CBS and NBC are in the lead to split the “B” package.
The conference’s deals with CBS and NBC are not finalized. But it looks like the two networks are in the lead to split a “B” package. CBS would pick up games for the 3:30pm ET window, and NBC would carry games in primetime. NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, also would wind up carrying some games.
ESPN being left out of the Big Ten rights would certainly be an eye-opener. As Ourand and McMurphy note, ESPN would be without Big Ten basketball and football games for the first time in 40 years. ABC even showed Big Ten games beginning in 1966.
But ESPN shouldn’t be counted out until the deals are final.
According to Ourand, “ESPN still is negotiating with the conference, and as long as they’re talking there remains the possibility ESPN could wind up with a package.”
Sure feels like it…We’ll see… https://t.co/z76a1J5UqH
— Patrick Crakes (@Aquinas82nd) August 9, 2022
Hard to see how this would be good for Bball and all winter sports. ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU all air a lot basketball. You can't cram all of that onto FS1 and BTN. Would push off hockey, wrestling, and wbball off. So where would that go? Skeptical about CBSSN or USA as fits https://t.co/DngyVupFOg
— Ben Koo (@bkoo) August 9, 2022
Ourand reports that “[Big Ten media rights] agreements could be reached by the end of this week or push into next,” so we should get concrete answers on these deals very soon.
Update: Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that it’s expected CBS will “pay in the $350 million per year neighborhood for the 3:30 [pm ET] Big Ten games.”
CBS is expected to pay in the $350 million per year neighborhood for the 3:30 Big Ten games, according to sources. https://t.co/D0nGwB4PXJ
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) August 9, 2022