Big Ten Conference reportedly in talks this week with TV networks, media companies
The Big Ten, with a potential $1 billion annual media rights at stake, is in meetings with FOX Sports this week with at least 4 additional media and tech companies to discuss picking up the conference’s rights.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported that news and noted that FOX Sports already has a deal in place to remain the conference’s biggest media partner, but the size of that package, and other media partners, is still to be determined.
The landscape sits with Amazon, CBS, ESPN and NBC are for the rest of the package, which could be sold to 1, 2 or 3 other bidders. Executives from Warner Bros. Discovery and Apple will meet with the conference this week, too. But talks with these two companies have not progressed, and they are considered dark horse candidates at best, Ourand reported.
When all is said and done, the Big Ten is poised to become the first college conference to eclipse the $1 billion mark for media rights annually. Negotiations are expected to continue through this month; a final deal could come in late summer.
The point of this week’s meetings is to come up with the specific packages the networks want and the price they will pay. So far, CBS has been aggressive about getting a game for its late Saturday afternoon window, and NBC has shown interest in a Saturday night primetime window for Big Ten football. ESPN has made clear its desire to keep Big Ten games on its channels, too. The wild card is Amazon, which has made a strong push to bring the conference’s rights to Prime.