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Report: ESPN, Big Ten reach $1.14B TV deal

The Detroit News
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany

The Big Ten is about to receive a big payday.

According to a Sports Business Journal report, ESPN is set to pay an average of $190 million per year over the next six years for half the conference’s media rights package.

Fox Sports purchased the other half of those rights in April for an average of $240 million per year. CBS also agreed to $10 million per year basketball-only deal to keep the conference’s tournament semifinals and championship game on CBS through 2023.

ESPN and Fox Sports will reportedly broadcast around 25 football games and 50 basketball games each year, but Fox Sports will carry the Big Ten football championship game every season.

In all, the Big Ten’s deals with Fox, ESPN and CBS will average $440 million over the next six years for a total of $2.64 billion, which will nearly triple the conference’s average media rights payout when it takes effect next fall.

“For (Big Ten commissioner Jim) Delany and the Big Ten, the deal is a clear win,” SBJ’s John Ourand wrote. “Not only did the conference pick up a significant increase in a down market, but the relatively short length of the deal means the Big Ten will be the first major college conference to renegotiate a new deal in what it hopes will be a more robust marketplace.”

According to the SBJ report, the ESPN and CBS deals are being assessed by lawyers and the Big Ten hopes to have official announcements by its football kickoff luncheon on July 26.

UM, MSU basketball playing twice in 2016-17