The news everyone knew was imminent finally dropped on Thursday: The Big Ten has signed a lucrative media rights deal worth either $7 billion or $8 billion over seven years — depending on which report you believe — starting in July 2023.
ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated are each reporting the lower figure, while The Athletic and Sports Business Journal are each reporting the higher figure. Regardless, even the lower figure sets a new standard in the arms race between the Big Ten and SEC and leaves the other three Power 5 conferences further in the rear view mirror.
As expected, the Big Ten will be partnering with Fox, CBS, and NBC — and not ESPN — for the duration of the deal, which, at seven years, actually is a few years shorter than is typical for these. That’s for a very specific reason: The Big Ten will go to market again before the SEC’s new contract with ESPN is up in 2034.
The headliner of the agreement is that each partner will have a set broadcast window for Big Ten games:
Even without ESPN, the Big Ten’s new set of partners will provide a powerhouse lineup of college football on Saturdays in the fall. It will start with Fox’s “Big Noon Saturday” at noon ET, followed by CBS’ 3:30 p.m. window and NBC’s new “Big Ten Saturday Night” game in prime time.
The Fox-CBS-NBC triumvirate will provide the Big Ten with an NFL-like lineup of games on over-the-air TV.
“The goal was to own each of these windows,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, the former Vikings COO who used the NFL as a model for the Big Ten’s own rights negotiations. “To capture the hearts and minds and the fan avidity, I think you’ve got to make it very simple for your fans. So, I always had this visual, especially coming out of the NFL, that we’d have partners in each one of those windows. And then we’d have some special events, like two games on Black Friday.”
There also will be games on FS1, Big Ten Network, and NBC’s “Peacock” streaming service.
The Big Ten won’t realize the biggest monetary gains right away, as the big numbers reportedly kick in when USC and UCLA defect from the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten in 2024. That means it’s tough to know exactly how much each school will be making over the course of the deal, but ESPN.com projects the payouts to eventually be between $80 million and $100 million annually.
Additionally: both Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Action Network’s Brett McMurphy are that expansion is still very much on the table. Via Forde:
The agreement with Fox, CBS and NBC comes with this caveat from a Big Ten source: “We are not done expanding.” What that means—in terms of timetable, potential expansion targets and the overall stability of college athletics—was left unsaid. It could be posturing to keep the rival Southeastern Conference and others off-balance, or it could be an indication, as Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in July, that further national realignment could come within the next few years, well before this new deal ends with the 2029–30 athletic calendar.
And via McMurphy:
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.
The guess here is that there is a provision specifically built for adding Notre Dame + 1, as it’s hard to imagine anyone else moving the needle enough to make that kind of a difference in rights fees. It also makes sense that it’s Notre Dame, because the Big Ten being able to walk over to the Fighting Irish and say “when you join the Big Ten, this is how much money you will get based on the language already in our contract” is a hell of a recruiting pitch.
For what it’s worth, the Sports Business Journal story reports that Apple and Amazon also were involved in pursuing Big Ten rights; could they now be suitors for the Pac-12/10 rights?
Lastly, I’m just going to leave this here.
$1.14 billion per year in TV deals..— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) August 18, 2022
They could pay 110 football players + 15 men’s/15 women’s hoopers at all 16 Big Ten schools $200k per year, & they’d still have over $600 million left over (without even touching cash from ticket sales, CFP/NCAA payouts, merch/licensing etc) https://t.co/LZdRYgzZyL
Big Ten completes 7-year, $7 billion media rights agreement with Fox, CBS, NBC - ESPN.com
The Big Ten has completed a new seven-year media rights agreement with Fox, CBS and NBC that is set to bring in more than $7 billion to one of the nation's most powerful athletic conferences.
Big Ten officially announces new media rights deals - Sports Business Journal
The Big Ten has made official its new media deals with CBS, NBC and Fox, which total over $8 billion.
Big Ten Lands Historic Media Rights Deal; More Expansion Ahead? - Action Network
Read on for Brett McMurphy's report about the Big Ten Conference's new historic media rights deal and potential expansion.
Big Ten announces new multi-billion-dollar media rights deal - Sports Illustrated
Here is how fans can watch football, basketball and more after the 2022-23 season.
Big Ten announces TV rights deals totaling over $8 billion with Fox, CBS and NBC - The Athletic
The Big Ten announced new media rights agreements on Thursday morning that stand to make it the top-earning conference in college sports.
The league unveiled seven-year agreements with Fox/FS1, CBS, NBC and the Big Ten Network, which will take the Big Ten through the 2029-30 academic year. The...
Cooper and Minniss Named to Hermann Trophy Watch List - Washington State University Athletics
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sophomore goalkeeper Nadia Cooper and fifth-year senior defender Mykiaa Minniss were named to the 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, the United
Cougar Football Fall Camp | Practice 12 - Washington State University Athletics
WSU practiced at Gesa Field Wednesday.
Pac-12 Announces Men’s Basketball Weekly Pairings - Washington State University Athletics
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Pac-12 Conference released the weekly matchups and site designations for the league's 2021-22 men's basketball season, the conference announced
#19/20 WSU Soccer ready for season-opening match against ranked Michigan | SWX Right Now | khq.com
Washington State Cougar Women's Soccer, ranked #19 by TopDrawerSoccer.com and #20 by the United Soccer Coaches, open the season on the road in Ann Arbor Thursday when they face Michigan,
Cougars keep it light, play round of 'knockout'; No separation in free safety battle: Notes and observations from Day 12 of Washington State fall camp | Washington State University | khq.com
PULLMAN – Washington State will hold 25 fall camp practices ahead of its season opener Sept. 3 against Idaho. The Spokesman-Review will be in attendance for each of those, tracking
One Coug, one Husky: college rivals now teammates on Spokane Indians | SWX Right Now | khq.com
Click here to view this article from khq.com.
Cleveland Browns Release WR After New Roster Addition - The Spun: What's Trending In The Sports World Today
On Wednesday, the Browns announced that they signed free agent offensive tackle Wyatt Miller. In a corresponding move, they released wide receiver Travell Harris.