Big Ten gets big $2.64 bil­lion

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

The Big Ten for­mally an­nounced its new six-year part­ner­ship with ESPN and Fox Sports, a deal worth a re­ported $2.64 bil­lion that in­dus­try an­a­lysts view as a vic­tory for the league.

News of the agree­ment got out more than a year ago, but com­mis­sioner Jim De­lany de­layed the un­veil­ing un­til Mon­day.

“We have laboured in bring­ing our agree­ments to ma­tu­rity,” he said. “The (game) se­lec­tion, I wouldn’t say, is tricky. But it is sen­si­tive. Any change re­quires you to go back.”

Fox Sports gets the first pick each year and — no sur­prise — the net­work has se­lected the Ohio State-Michi­gan game in 2017 (Fox also gets the an­nual con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game).

When a re­porter asked whether Fox would get the first pick each week, Fox Sports ex­ec­u­tive Larry Jones said no but joked: “That’s a good idea.”

To which ESPN’s Burke Mag­nus replied: “That will be in year seven of the six-year deal.”

Big Ten foot­ball now has broad­cast part­ners in ESPN, Fox Sports and BTN. CBS will con­tinue to have me­dia rights to bas­ket­ball games.

Jones said of ESPN: “Some­times we can play in the same sand­box ... We can work with ESPN to pro­mote a great con­fer­ence.”

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