Big Ten gets big $2.64 billion
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.”