All talk about the latest college basketball national championship odds is taking a backseat in favor of the news coming from Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal about the Big Ten and their billion dollar deal with ESPN.
If these most recent reports are to be believed, then the Big Ten is set to maintain their old position on ESPN, with the two entities having come to a six-year-long agreement allowing ESPN to secure about half of the Big Ten’s media rights for a whopping $1.14 billion.
The Big Ten has become synonymous with massive paydays. However, according to the Sports Business Journal, ESPN’s deal with the Big Ten is going to drop a few jaws and break a few records.
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, ESPN’s decision to spend more than a billion dollars on half of the Big Ten’s media rights means that the conference will see the average media rights payout triple.
Rumors about the purchase of the first half of the media rights package have been rife for several months, with confirmation coming out of Fox in April that it had purchased them for a $240 million annual fee. The first half of the package will commence once the coming college basketball season ends.
One cannot ignore CBS, which decided to re-up its basketball deal with the Big Ten, this securing a $10million annual fee. Take into account ESPN’s decision to spend an estimated $190million a year (over a period of six years) to purchase the Big Ten’s Media rights and the conference is looking to bring in a shocking $2.64 billion in the next 72 months.
Looking at this deal, at the amount of money three large networks are willing to pay for media rights, one cannot help but admire the colossal monster than Football and basketball have become.
And the length of the deals cannot be ignored. In six years, the conference will have a chance to renegotiate these deals all over again, most likely raising the figure a few notches higher.
The entertainment commodities around which these deals revolve have never been more popular. Fox and ESPN are looking to net over 20 football games and 50 basketball games each, with the Big Ten Network still showing the expected allotment of games.
Fox, which has majority ownership of the Big Ten network, will most likely carry the championship game every year for the duration of this deal. The fact that they will also enjoy game selection advantages will probably irk ESPN executives, what with the biggest games going to Fox.
Based on Ourand’s understanding of the deal, Fox has the benefit of being the first network to pick those weeks where it gets the first choice of games every year, with ESPN following and then Fox coming in third and so on and so forth.
Viewers can expect to find the majority of ESPN’s Big Ten games on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN2, with ESPNU having the least amount of Big Ten games.
CBS has a separate deal that permits it to keep airing the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and title game through 2023. The 14 conference schools are probably salivating at the massive infusion of cash they can expect in the coming years.