The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday it has reached landmark distribution agreements with CBS, FOX, NBC, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock reported to be worth $7 billion to the league over the seven years of the deal. The media rights agreements will begin July 1, 2023 and run through the 2029-30 season.
Big Ten Conference football will dominate Saturdays, beginning in the fall of 2023 with FOX at Noon, CBS at 3:30 p.m., and NBC in Prime Time. With the addition of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC) in August 2024, the conference, its student-athletes, and member institutions will reach the broadest audience in the country, coast-to-coast, including the top three media markets in the country in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
It will be the first time in 40 years that ABS and ESPN will not be part of the Big Ten’s television package.
“The Big Ten Conference media rights agreements are more than just dollars and deals,” says Kevin Warren, commissioner of the Big Ten. “They are a mechanism to provide stability and maximum exposure for our student-athletes, member institutions, and partners during these uncertain times in collegiate athletics.
“We are very grateful to our world-class media partners for recognizing the strength of the Big Ten Conference brand and providing the incredible resources we need for our student-athletes to compete at the very highest levels, and to achieve their academic and athletics goals.”
As a result of the new media agreements, the BTN (owned by FOX) will maintain its position as the home for Big Ten fans, as the network will continue to televise a full slate of football, basketball, and Olympic sport competition throughout the entire year.
CBS’s initial season in 2023 will include seven football games and both regular season and postseason men’s basketball action, along with the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament final appearing on CBS for the first time.
The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals and final will continue the tradition of airing on CBS, which they have done for 25 years. Every CBS Big Ten football and basketball broadcast will also be streamed on Paramount+, Paramount Global’s direct-to-consumer streaming service.
Starting in 2024, CBS will televise up to 15 regular-season football games per season, including an annual Black Friday game in the afternoon.
“The Big Ten has been a valued partner for more than three decades and we are thrilled to expand that relationship by adding Big Ten football to our portfolio of marquee properties,” says Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports.
“The combination of CBS Sports’ proven record in elevating college conferences to new heights, our standard of excellence and the strength and reach of Paramount Global’s linear and digital platforms, will create a powerful showcase for the Big Ten and its student-athletes. Together with Kevin Warren and the team at the Big Ten, we look forward to growing the conference to the highest of levels, reaching the widest audience.”
FOX and its subsidiary FS1 has renewed its agreement to televise football and men’s basketball games each season, with the opportunity to carry additional sports throughout the year.
“We are proud to expand upon our long-standing partnership with the Big Ten Conference and further bolster our position as the premier rights holder of the conference,” says Eric Shanks, CEO of FOX Sports. “Commissioner Warren’s leadership and vision have resulted in the growth and recent market expansion of the Big Ten Conference. In an ever-evolving landscape, the Big Ten remains the most storied collegiate athletic conference in the country.”
NBC will produce 14-to-16 games on broadcast television each season as it introduces college football fans to Big Ten Saturday Night. Each Big Ten game on NBC broadcast also will be simul-streamed on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s direct-to-consumer streaming service.
“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with Kevin Warren and the Big Ten Conference on this robust package of sports,” says Pete Bevacqua, chairman of NBC Sports. “With Big Ten Saturday Night and Sunday Night Football headlining each fall weekend in primetime on NBC and Peacock, along with our historic Notre Dame Football partnership, NBC Sports will be the home of premier games in college football and the NFL. In addition, with the rights to a wide range of Big Ten events, Peacock and NBC Sports will be a year-round destination for the best in college sports.”
Peacock also will deliver exclusive Big Ten football and basketball games each season, as eight regular-season football games will appear on the platform along with as many as 47 regular-season men’s basketball games (32 conference and 15 non-conference) and 30 regular-season women’s basketball games (20 conference and 10 non-conference).
The three networks will rotate coverage of the Big Ten Football Championship Game. FOX will carry the game in 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029. CBS will air the contest in 2024 and 2028. NBC’s chance comes in 2026.
“The new rights agreements are an incredible achievement for our entire conference and a true testament of what can be accomplished with teamwork,” Warren says. “I am incredibly grateful for collaborative efforts and hard work of our conference staff, our presidents and chancellors, athletics directors, coaches, student-athletes, and our partners at CBS, NBC, and FOX Sports for solidifying unprecedented Big Ten access across transformative media companies for our fans to tune-in and follow the Big Ten content they love.”