The Big Ten’s new media rights deal is here and it is massive

The Big Ten’s new media rights deal is gigantic.

The Big Ten unveiled the long-awaited details to its brand new media rights package on Thursday, and it is quite a monster. The Big Ten will enter into a new media rights deal with FOX, CBS, and NBC all having an opportunity to showcase Big Ten football beginning in 2023.

The Big Ten revealed the details of its new media rights package that will begin on July 1, 2023 and run through the 2029-2030 seasons. FOX, NBC, and CBS will all get a high-profile timeslot to feature Big Ten football, and the extra options of placing Big Ten games on FS1 and NBC’s streaming platform Peacock on top of the Big Ten Network will potentially extend the visibility of the conference in ways never seen before.

And, of course, the revenue this deal will generate is astounding. The Big Ten’s new deal is valued at $1 billion annually for a grand total rising to $7 billion over the course of the package’s lifespan.

FOX will continue to use its noon eastern timeslot to feature a high-profile game with its Big Noon Kickoff. CBS will lock in a Big Ten game for 3:30 p.m. ET in its traditional college football time slot (the SEC is moving exclusively to ESPN), and NBC will feature a Big Ten game in primetime every Saturday night.

CBS will include seven football games and regular season and postseason men’s basketball. CBS will also air the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals and final will continue to air on CBS as it has for 25 years. Every CBS Big Ten football and basketball broadcast will be available for streaming on Paramount+ as well.

Beginning in 2024, CBS will televise up to 15 regular season football games from its initial lineup of seven games in 2023.

NBC will broadcast 14 to 16 games each season in the brand new Big Ten Saturday Night. Every NBC broadcast will be available on Peacock as well.

FOX will continue its existing arrangement with the Big Ten to televise football and men’s basketball games.

The Big Ten Championship Game will be shared between the three networks as well, with FOX getting the majority share of broadcasts. FOX will air the Big Ten Championship Game in 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029. CBS will get the game in 2024 and 2028. NBC will air the 2026 championship game.

Giving all three major media partners a chance to showcase the Big Ten is a bold strategy, and having all three networks buy in to selling Big Ten football should bode well for the conference in the next seven years.

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ESPN reportedly walks away from Big Ten as conference nears massive new rights deal

No Big Ten on ESPN? It looks like it could happen according to the latest media rights rumblings

If the Big Ten is going to lose a working relationship with ESPN, it better hope it has support to fall back on. Fortunately, it appears the Big Ten has quite a safety net to fall into after ESPN reportedly opted to back out of the media rights negotiations game.

What once may have felt inconceivable has apparently become a reality. According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, via Twitter, ESPN has taken its name out of the Big Ten media rights negotiations. By doing so, the Big Ten will be off ESPN’s air for college football and college basketball for the first time in 40 years.

As reported by Ourand, ESPN turned down a seven-year package worth $380 million per year. That now leaves the door wide open for a new contract that will bring the Big Ten to CBS and NBC, with FOX already on board. What’s more, a formal announcement could come as early as this week as details for the Big Ten’s highly-anticipated new media rights deal settle in.

It is believed CBS will feature a Big Ten game in the 3:30 p.m. ET timeslot currently used to feature the SEC Game of the Week. But with the SEC contract moving to ESPN, CBS could replace the SEC with the Big Ten in the same high-profile slot.

NBC is expected to get primetime with the Big Ten and some exclusive rights for streaming its Peacock streaming platform. All games airing on NBC will also be streamed on Peacock as well, it is safe to assume.

So, how much is at stake?

According to a report from New York Post, CBS is set to pay $350 million per year for its part of the contract. And NBC, according to Sports Business Journal, will pay another $350 million per year for its portion.

That’s a cool $700 million per year on top of whatever FOX will be paying for its rights in the noon timeslot, as well as additional airtime on FS1 and its partnership with the Big Ten Network.

And we haven’t even talked about the competition for the streaming package options. Apple and Amazon are discussing streaming rights with the Big Ten, and the competition has spiked since the news that USC and UCLA will be joining the Big Ten in 2024 as Apple came back to the table as a potential suitor.

There could still be a lot to unpack with this new media rights deal, and the negotiations could still involve ESPN before the ink dries on the new contracts. But regardless of where this all goes from here, the Big Ten is going to be swimming in an ocean of cash.

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Report: Big Ten cooling on potential expansion

A focus on media rights may have led to the Big Ten cooling on any additional expansion.

Big Ten media days have come and gone and there appears to be no significant traction made on making any additional expansion moves beyond the upcoming additions of USC and UCLA. And according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the Big Ten has seemingly moved away from the idea of adding more members from the Pac-12.

Instead, the Big Ten’s focus is now squarely on its next media rights deal, with an announcement possibly coming any week now. The Big Ten’s new media deal is expected to be massive with reports suggesting the conference will be raking in $1.25 billion. The expansion to the west coast to secure the Los Angeles market is a big reason why.

As told by Dodd, it appears the thought of additional expansion was a deterring factor as the ongoing media rights negotiations continued.

After the anxiety caused last week regarding further Big Ten expansion, industry sources have indicated the Big Ten is no longer as interested in adding California, Oregon, Stanford and Washington. Rightsholders were balking at paying the same amount for those schools as the 16 Big Ten schools going forward ($80 million-$100 million).

This is not to suggest Big Ten expansion won’t pick up quickly again if the right variable enters the mix. That would be Notre Dame. Notre Dame is still exploring its own options for its football future, but if the school decides membership in the Big Ten is right for them, then the Big Ten will quickly welcome the Irish to the mix. And if that happens, the Big Ten could rush to add at least one other member.

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Conference realignment rumor goes off the rails with this wild idea

This Big 12 expansion rumor involving a Big Ten team is ridiculous

Either the Big 12 is getting really desperate or somebody is fabricating a conference realignment rumor to draw attention. Feel free to decide for yourself on this one.

According to Charley Walters, a sports columnist for Pioneer Press, the Big 12 is “said to be quietly seeking” Minnesota as an expansion target. Bet you never saw that one coming, did you?

On the surface, this is a rumor that probably deserves very little credit. At the very least, it has about a 1% chance of ever happening.

Minnesota is one of the founding members of the Big Ten and would be crazy to walk away from the Big Ten’s massive revenue-sharing opportunities that would be unrivaled to anything the Big 12 could potentially offer. There would simply be no upside for Minnesota joining the Big Ten unless the goal is simply to get away from Big Ten hockey. Minnesota may be a hockey school, but it isn’t dumb.

The Big 12 adding Minnesota doesn’t even really make a whole lot of sense either. The Gophers bring little to the table for the Big 12 to capitalize on. Minnesota has no real connection to any existing or incoming Big 12 member. If anything, the Big 12 should probably focus more on trying to lure Nebraska back if it is looking for a Big Ten school.

Where this rumor actually comes from is unknown. Who exactly was saying the Big 12 is courting Minnesota is unknown. This is why this one feels manufactured for reactions, but conference realignment rumors are no longer considered impossibilities in this evolving era of college sports. When geography means nothing, anything is possible.

But Minnesota joining a Big 12 conference that may or may not sustain itself when staying in the financially stabilized Big Ten for years to come seems like an easy decision even if Minnesota did have to think about it for a moment.

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Paul Finebaum predicts Notre Dame’s future conference home

Paul Finebaum predicts where Notre Dame will end up in conference realignment

The entire conference realignment process appears to be in a holding pattern while Notre Dame figures out what it wants to do moving forward. Perceived as the next biggest domino to fall in the world of realignment, Notre Dame is the one school remaining that could cherrypick its future conference home if the leaders in charge ultimately decide the time is now to abandon its beloved football independence. The Big Ten makes the most sense, according to ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum.

“I think Notre Dame will end up in the Big Ten if they go somewhere because it makes too much sense,” Finebeum said in an interview with Greg McElroy during SEC media days last week. “I don’t know what the history is with Knute Rockne and Fielding Yost and things that happened even before I was born. We’re talking 100 years ago, more than 100 years ago. But it’s time.”

Finebaum believes Notre Dame would be a perfect fit to join the SEC but feels Notre Dame’s history blends naturally with the Big Ten. Notre Dame has historic rivalries with Michigan, Michigan State, and future Big Ten member USC. Notre Dame playing games against Ohio State and Penn State would also make for great scheduling opportunities for the Big Ten and the Irish.

The Big Ten’s expansion with USC and UCLA is bringing the total full-time membership up to 16 members effective in 2024. The timeline is important because Notre Dame is looking into its next media rights deal, as is the Big Ten. Notre Dame’s current deal expires in 2025. The Big Ten’s new deal is going to begin in 2023.

Notre Dame is already a Big Ten member in ice hockey.

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Will Big Ten take advantage of the Big 12 calling off a merger with Pac-12?

With the Big 12 calling off a merger with the Pac-12, will the Big Ten pounce once more?

The conference realignment watch continues as the conference media days continue to play out across the country. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said at SEC media days the conference is not feeling any urgency to react after watching the Big Ten make its latest move, nor is there any urgency to speed up the timeline to welcome Oklahoma and Texas. Although the Sooners and Longhorns continue to say they are not expecting to leave the Big 12 earlier than originally announced, the Big 12 landscape could be preparing to change even more.

After previously having discussions about forming some sort of alliance or partnership with the Pac-12, reports indicate the Big 12 is no longer interested in any working partnership and is instead more interested in raiding the Pac-12 for any potential members. According to CBS Sports, the Big 12 decided a merger with the Pac-12 was not in its best interest, but potentially adding a handful of members from the conference is.

This follows previous reporters suggesting the Big 12 was having individual discussions with current Pac-12 members including Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah. Oregon and Washington have also reportedly been involved in some discussions with the Pac-12, which makes sense as each remaining member of the supposedly crumbling Pac-12 would be wise to evaluate all of their respective options.

The Big Ten could still potentially be an option for a few Pac-12 options after the conference planted its flag in California with the recent additions of USC and UCLA. Oregon and Washington would be seen as the next two best options from the Pac-12, although Colorado and Utah would not be a bad combination either.

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The Pac-12 is desperate for stability, and a merger with the Pac-12 may have been the best possible solution for the conference. But the Pac-12 is also having discussions with the ACC about a partnership that would span coast to coast and help get more Pac-12 programming on ESPN. But if the Pac-12 loses more members to other conferences, any discussions about a partnership will likely collapse anyway.

While all of this is going on, the Pac-12 is beginning to negotiate a new media rights deal, but it would not make sense for any broadcast partner to offer a great package given the worry about stability from within at this time.

According to CBS Sports, the remaining 10 members of the Pac-12 are set to stick together and work out a new media rights deal with no motivation to join the Big 12. But we all know that money has a powerful sway on schools and an opportunity to cash in a Big Ten check may be difficult to pass up compared to whatever the Pac-12 is able to negotiate for its members.

Most reports seem to agree that conferences are waiting and hoping Notre Dame makes a decision on its football independence soon, as the Irish going to a conference could be a significant domino in ongoing media rights negotiations and show which way each conference will ultimately move in conference realignment. Notre Dame officials continue to say there is no rush for the Irish to make any drastic moves as they feel they are in a comfortable position with football independence and a relationship with the ACC.

In any event, the upcoming Big Ten Kickoff is going to be full of questions about the future.

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NIL benefits one step closer to coming for Pennsylvania high school students

Pennsylvania is one step closer to allowing NIL deals for high school athletes

The evolution of the era of name, image, and likeness opportunities has been moving quickly through the college landscape since the NCAA opened the doors a year ago. Now, the trend is racing through the world of high school athletics, and Pennsylvania is one giant step closer to allowing for that to happen as well.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association board passed a policy that will allow high school student-athletes to be compensated for use of their name, image, and likeness similar to how college athletes now can benefit. The policy must pass through three readings, or votes, in order to become the new official policy, so two more readings are needed for the policy. In that time, changes may be made before the policy becomes official.

If passed, Pennsylvania would become the latest state to allow for NIL deals to high school athletes. New York and New Jersey are among the states that allow for high school athletes to benefit from NIL, while Ohio has not passed such a policy.

As currently constructed, there are some limitations to what a high school student-athlete (and thus, a potential Penn State recruit) could benefit from. Some of the restrictions include not being able to promote a good or service during a team or school activity, not wearing a piece of clothing or the logo of an NIL partner during a team or school activity that is not a part of a standard uniform, and not promoting or endorsing any adult entertainment products, alcohol products, casinos, firearms, and more.

One of the biggest sticking points to be clarified is how old a student-athelete has to be in order to sign an NIL deal. Most student-athletes in high school are under the age of 18, which has led to some concern about how NIL deals will be conducted.

This is still a little bit away from changing the game for high school athletes. On3 notes any changes to the PIAA policy would not be expected to go into effect until at least July 2023. By then, the entire landscape of NIL at the high school level could change massively and the policy in Pennsylvania will surely be refined over the course of time.

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Conference realignment rumors: Phil Knight wants Oregon in the Big Ten

Conference realignment rumors: Phil Knight wants Oregon in THIS conference…

The Big Ten has planted its banner on the west coast with the upcoming additions of USC and UCLA beginning in 2024, but the college football world is waiting to find out if there will be more expansion moves made by the Big Ten. Among the schools evaluating its future in the face of seismic shifts on the tectonic plates of college football’s map is Oregon, with the support of one of the most famous alums in school history reportedly taking part in guiding the Ducks in the big decision-making.

That alum, of course, is Nike co-founder and chairman emeritus Phil Knight. According to a report from John Canzano, Knight and Oregon are actively reviewing every scenario on the table which includes a move to the Big Ten if the conference opens the doors to them. Canzano suggests Knight would prefer Oregon to be in the Big Ten, but there are still a lot of variables in play for the future of the Ducks.

Orgeon and Washington are the two Pac-12 schools that would make the most sense for the Big Ten’s west coast expansion to accompany USC and UCLA, should the conference wish to move in that direction. But there could still be some hurdles to clear before that could even happen as well. State government officials are proposing laws in Oregon and Washington that would tie the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to be required to compete in the same conference as Orgeon State and Washington State, respectively. Whether those state proposals carry much weight is best left to those in Oregon and Washington to decide. But it is worth monitoring just in case.

With the Big Ten adding USC and UCLA, however, adding Oregon makes sense for the Big Ten as it would provide another west coast travel partner of sorts for the Trojans and Bruins, rather than leave them on their own island on the west coast with the nearest Big Ten foe located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

While all of this is going on, the Pac-12 could be bracing for more changes on the horizon with a possible merger with the Big 12 or more schools opting out of the conference in favor of the Big 12.

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Conference realignment rumor mill: More Pac-12 teams preparing to leave?

If four schools leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12, more Big Ten expansion moves could be accelerated.

The fallout of the decision by USC and UCLA to leave behind their respective storied history with the Pac-12 for the greener cow pastures of Big Ten country continues to be seen as the remaining members of the conference are scrambling to secure their own stability in the changing landscape of collegiate athletics. While the company line from the Pac-12’s remaining membership has voiced a desire to stay together following the 2024 departures of USC and UCLA, it appears to be every school for itself at this point.

Immediately following the USC and UCLA news, the focus in the conference for many turned to Oregon and Washington, two schools many feel could easily follow the Trojans and Bruins to the Big Ten if the Big Ten extended an invitation. But sticking in the Pac-12 South, it appears there are some rumblings about the Arizona Wildcats.

According to a report from Jason Scheer of 247Sports, Arizona may be meeting with officials from the Big 12 as early as this week to explore a possible move to the Big 12. And that’s not all. Three other Pac-12 schools could contemplate a move to the Big 12.

Four schools that would make sense in the Big 12 from the Pac-12 would include Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado, a school that left the Big 12 for the Pac-10 when the conference expanded to 12 members. One might call that a bit of an awkward situation for Colorado, but it would seem to make the most sense as long as the Big Ten doesn’t happen to come calling first. It would also be a full twist on conference realignment storylines as it once was reported that the Pac-12 may have been on the verge of adding four Big 12 teams in the last monster round of conference realignment changes.

Conference realignment news and reports rarely pan out, so it can sometimes be best to wait and see how things play out before getting too carried away. But if those four schools do muscle their way out of a crumbling Pac-12 and join the Big 12, then the path to the Big Ten cherry-picking Oregon and Washington could be even more likely to happen relatively quickly.

It still feels unlikely the big Ten really is done with its expansion efforts at this point with just USC and UCLA. Perhaps the conference is waiting for Notre Dame to make a phone call, or perhaps the Big Ten wants to allow for a little more time to pass before kicking up realignment dust on its boots. Either way, Big Ten fans will be paying close attention to the stories coming out of the Pac-12 and Big 12 as those two conferences may end up needing each other now more than ever before.

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Top 17 Big Ten expansion candidates for consideration

The Big Ten expansion possibilities are fun to think about. Notre Dame, Oregon, and the Army-Navy Game?

There are officially no limits on schools that can be considered expansion candidates for the Big Ten after extending invitations to join to USC and UCLA. With the Big Ten set to welcome the two iconic Pac-12 programs in 2024, the future of the Big Ten has never looked more open and there are so many directions the Big Ten could go next.

The Big Ten has made it a point to focus on schools that are members of the Association of American Universities when exploring potential expansion candidates. USC and UCLA are each members of the AAU, for example. But membership in the AAU is not necessarily a major deal-breaker, as is the case for Nebraska. Nebraska was voted into the conference when it was an AAU member, but the school lost its AAU affiliation months after heading to the Big Ten.

There are a number of AAU members not included in this list as they are current members or future members of the SEC. Of all the conferences out there, the SEC is likely the one conference that stands the least chance of having a school leave for another conference. The SEC is home to AAU members Florida, Missouri, and Texas A&M and Texas will soon join them.

This list of potential expansion targets for the Big Ten is based off the current membership of the AAU with one very notable exception. We may as well get that exception out of the way right now…