Big Ten media rights deal not finalized, continues meetings with partners

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

The Big Ten seems to be close to establishing its new media rights deal.

The conference is working with partners to complete multifaceted media right agreements, a representative from the Big Ten said in a statement. 

"The overall constructs of the new rights agreements have not been finalized," the statement says. "The conference continues to have productive meetings with both linear and direct to consumer media partners. We are committed to delivering unparalleled resources and exposure opportunities for Big Ten Conference member institutions, athletic programs, student-athletes,  coaches and fans.

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"We are very thankful to the media companies who recognize the value of Big Ten programming and want to deliver it to our fans around the world in a forward-thinking manner." 

According to the Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC have emerged as the front-runners to secure rights to the Big Ten, along with Fox Sports. 

ESPN is still negotiating with the conference, but is on "the outside looking in" with a bid that is not large enough to complete a deal. 

CBS and NBC are reportedly in the lead to split a "B" package. CBS would carry games in the 3:30 p.m. slot, while NBC would take prime-time games, along with games on its streaming service Peacock. 

The Big Ten is expected to be the first college conference to eclipse $1 billion per year in rights fees. 

At Big Ten football media days, commissioner Kevin Warren said the media rights deal is being "finalized" and would be announced "sooner than later." 

Warren also said he is focused on the "creativity" of how to deliver content in the next media deal. 


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