Report: ESPN will buy the other half of the B1G's media rights package
Jim Delany got his money from ESPN.
After months of speculation that the network and the B1G would terminate their relationship following the end of their media rights contract in 2017, the two parties agreed to a new deal.
According to the Sports Business Journal, the B1G and ESPN reached a new six-year deal that will pay $190 million annually for the second half of the conference’s media rights package. That would continue the 50-year relationship through the 2023 season. It’s less than the $240 million the B1G will receive annually from Fox, which was reportedly agreed upon two months ago.
CBS also reportedly told the B1G that it will renew its basketball-only package for $10 million annually.
The B1G will receive approximately $440 million annually from its TV deals, which is more than triple the amount it received under its current deal.
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According to the Sports Business Journal, talks with ESPN re-surfaced after news of the Fox deal was reported. ESPN executives reportedly shook on the deal with Delany on May 19 at the B1G’s New York office. The deal became final on June 7-8 in Chicago when ESPN, Fox and the B1G met to settle on the specifics.
Fox will get the B1G Championship and will have first pick on game weeks to broadcast every year. ESPN would have the second, Fox would get the third and they would alternate. As the report indicates, that would likely mean that the Michigan and Ohio State game will be on Fox every year.
It’s huge news for the conference, which will not have to worry about any sort of ESPN boycott. ESPN, of course, holds all rights for the College Football Playoff and is home to the top ratings of any network for college football.
The six-year deal also gives the B1G a chance to re-up sooner rather than later and cash in on the rising broadcasting fees.
The deal will not impact the Big Ten Network’s TV package. The network, which Fox owns 51 percent of, has a deal with the conference that will run through 2031-32.
Looks like $30M + per year per B1G school for just the Tier 1 rights. This does not include any BTN revenues. So over $40M/school in 17-18
— Jon Miller (@HawkeyeNation) June 20, 2016