Reports: Big Ten, Fox closing in on media rights deal

  • 04/19/2016 8:57 pm in

The Big Ten may have found a new home for 25 of its football games and 50 of its men’s basketball games beginning in the fall of 2017.

According to reports by Sports Business Daily and The Chicago Tribune, the Big Ten, led by commissioner Jim Delany, and Fox are close to an agreement for a six-year media rights deal that could pay up to $250 million annually.

The deal would put the approximately 25 football and 50 men’s basketball games on Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1, per reports.

Here are some of the particulars, according to Sports Business Daily:

The Fox deal essentially is half of the package of games that had been with ESPN (as part of a 10-year, $1B deal that expires next spring) and CBS (as part of a 6-year, $72M basketball-only deal that also expires next spring). The Big Ten will return to the market to solicit bids on the second half of the package. The conference has the flexibility to allow for another network or two to pick up that half. ESPN will be one of several TV networks engaged for the second half of the Big Ten’s package, along with the usual suspects of CBS, NBC and Turner.

The Fox Entertainment Group owns a controlling interest in the conference’s TV network, BTN.

ESPN had first negotiation rights to renew the deal that expires next spring – according to the Tribune’s report – but apparently came up well short of what the new deal from Fox will pay.

The Tribune speculated that, with the new deal, each Big Ten conference member (with the exception of Rutgers and Maryand) could be paid in the neighborhood of $40 to $45 million annually under the new deal.

(Photo credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images North America)

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  • SCHoosier

    I’m starting to change my mind about the athletes sharing in some of the financial reward. If my cable, Sat TV or other video charges are going up( and they will to pay for this kind of deal)..the student-athletes should be getting something.

  • JetpackJunky

    Your cable charges are going up no matter what because it’s a public monopoly with no incentives to keep prices low because the people who have it depend on it (though, they’re mostly shifted to internet prices).

    If anything, a deal with Fox may help bring them down. Some of the games will be on Fox proper which is a standard channel, no more having to pay extra for the 50 ESPNs or else miss the beginning of the game when the preceding game goes into overtime.

  • Hoosier89

    It’ll just make my bar tab go up because I’m not paying for cable.

  • Kyl470

    You have to look at the bigger picture. More than half the teams in the Big 10 have athletic department that operates in the red.

  • iuoiu

    I have a problem with all this money, but not necessarily because it’s not going to the athletes. My problem is that much of this money is getting plowed right back into the athletics dept. in the form of higher coach salaries, upgraded facilities (mostly for football), upgraded stadiums, etc. Seriously, does every football player need a flat screen tv in their already oversized luxury locker?

    I’d much rather see and much better chunk of that money go to the good of all students. We have millions of recent college grads who won’t be able to contribute to the economy b/c of their student loans. We have millions that never even get to sniff these universities because even with loans they can’t pull it off. I think some needs to go directly to the athletes don’t get me wrong, it’s just the rest of the money that is being wasted that makes me angry.

  • BT

    Dear Fox, just don’t say “Green Room Guy” please. Thx

  • ForIndiana

    While the concept of games going to Fox proper sounds good, you know that the good games (i.e. IU games) are going to FS1 and for the life of me I don’t understand why in my top whatever Dish package I get FS2 but not FS1…? I get the sports networks specifically to see my Hoosiers from here in AZ, but if they get on FS1 I’m going to miss those games in the current lineup and that stinks!

  • Ole Man

    Living in NC, I will miss a lot of games. They go regional constantly with the broadcast. They’ll show ACC over BT all the time. I hate this deal!!

  • JetpackJunky

    I see these comments a lot, and definitely agree with the sentiment fully, but how much of this money do we see going to upgrades and salaries v. applied in other ways? Is accounting available for that kind of thing?

    I’d also be curious if it changes the direction of otherwise unallocated funds, meaning, if the stadium was getting new turf anyway it would have to be paid for somehow. Now, this money may go to the turf and the university might reallocate the turf money to scholarships or hiring an extra TA to reduce class sizes somewhere or something.

    Plus, state funding has really dried up, so some will inevitably go to plug some new holes. Accounting at this scale has a lot of moving pieces so simply saying the money pays for athletics is difficult.

    But yeah, we should be focusing more on the student side and less on the athlete side. It’s great to have newer and nicer facilities, but a balance has to be struck. These facilities should be helping the university earn revenue for subsistence of the academic side, not the other way around.

  • TomJameson

    I have the DirecTV “Choice” package, I think that’s the 2nd from the bottom tier of packages, and it has all the ESPNs, BTNs and FS1 (no FS2). One thing it does NOT have is CBSSN, so if something goes to CBS I have that same fear, that it will go to the one lousy channel that I don’t get. One saving grace is that the Student U at IU has been better at getting their own coverages to BTN for a later showing.