The other Big Ten sports broadcast rights shoe is reportedly ready to drop, and it is full of cash for the oldest major conference.
Sports Business Daily reported Monday morning ESPN has agreed to pay $190 million per year for six years to continue broadcasting Big Ten football and basketball games.
Of course that figure gets more impressive when we recall it is for only roughly half of the conference’s games. The other half already went to Fox Sports for a reported $240 million per year, and CBS is expected to retain some basketball games for $10 million per year.
Then of course there are still the rights owned by the Big Ten Network.
How does it all add up?
SBJ offers some perspective:
The $2.64 billion deals with Fox, ESPN and CBS average $440 million per year and nearly triple the amount ESPN and CBS had been paying for the same programming. ESPN signed a 10-year deal worth $100 million annually in 2006 — a payout that increased to $150 million this year due to the addition of Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers to the conference. CBS paid an average of around $6 million for its current basketball-only deal.
Also of note: Fox managed to secure the first choice of which weeks it will get first choice of games, meaning the network could pluck away the storied Ohio State-Michigan game that traditionally takes place in late November as the season finale.
That game has been fixture on ESPN/ABC for decades.
Previously, ESPN generally had first pick of games with the Big Ten Network taking what was left.