Disney CEO responds to report of ESPN pulling out of B1G media rights negotiations
ESPN will apparently be on the outside looking in when the B1G’s next media right deal begins in 2024, the same year UCLA and USC are set join the conference after defecting from the Pac-12. While it’s not official, reports on Monday stated that ESPN had pulled out of negotiations after being involved with the B1G in some form or fashion for since 1982.
The network already has a lengthy relationship with the SEC and will become the exclusive home for the conference’s football and men’s basketball games beginning in 2024. It already owns the SEC Network, which it signed on in 2014.
ESPN is also under contract with the ACC through 2036 (including owning the ACC Network), begins a new 10-year deal with the Big 12 in 2024, and is negotiating for an extension with the Pac-12 contract it splits with FOX that ends after 2023. ESPN is also the home of the College Football Playoff through at least 2025.
So, while it appears the B1G’s time on ESPN is coming to a close, the CEO of its parent company isn’t concerned.
“If you look at the college sports, we’ve got the SEC, we’ve got the ACC, we’ve got the Pac-12, we’ve got the Big 12, we’ve got the playoffs,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during a Wednesday investor call, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve got the most comprehensive programming, so if we don’t get rights in every single conference, we don’t believe that’s in any way limiting for us.”
CBS, who already airs B1G basketball games, and NBC, the longtime home of Notre Dame football, have reportedly submitted winning bids and will join current lead rightsholder FOX when the new deal begins in 2024.