B1G will play Friday night games beginning in 2017
Who says Friday Night Lights are only for high school?
Now, the B1G will embrace the chance to shine on a new night.
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, the B1G will begin playing Friday night games in 2017.
The report said that the B1G agreed to package six games with ABC/ESPN and Fox that will be played on Friday nights.
“All things considered,” Delany told the Tribune, “we thought it was worthwhile to dip our toe in the water.”
The deal will reportedly consist of three non-conference games and three conference games on Friday night, with no teams playing multiple times.
Delany told the Tribune that the conference doesn’t plan on having big venues host Friday night games. That would mean Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State likely wouldn’t host any Friday night games.
Greenstein also reported that Michigan did not agree to the terms and that it said ‘no’ to playing both home and road games on Friday nights. That would theoretically rule out Michigan and one other B1G team from playing Friday night games in 2017.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told the Columbus Dispatch that the Buckeyes plan on hosting a Friday night game once every three years but that it wouldn’t start in 2017.
The effort was reportedly to take a different angle on the “cannibalized” Saturday afternoon TV market.
The ACC and Pac-12 already have Friday night games regularly. In fact, there were 65 Friday night games across the country in 2016.
“We have thought a lot about this,” Big Ten senior associate commissioner for television administration Mark Rudner said. “(The six Friday night games) represent about six percent of the total home games that we will have in any year over the next six years.
“We think it is a great opportunity for significant exposure and more favorable use of national platforms for football.”
But fear not, B1G fans. There won’t be any Friday night games in November.
“This is a play in September and October. We aren’t going to go into November,” Rudner said. “And we aren’t looking to expand beyond six games at this point (through this deal).”