Big Ten announces 6-year partnership with ESPN and Fox Sports worth $2.64B

The Big Ten formally announced its new six-year partnership with ESPN and Fox Sports, a deal worth a reported $2.64 billion that industry analysts view as a victory for the league.

News of the agreement got out more than a year ago, but commissioner Jim Delany delayed the unveiling until Monday.

“We have labored in bringing our agreements to maturity,” he said. “The (game) selection, I wouldn’t say, is tricky. But it is sensitive. Any change requires you to go back.”

Fox Sports gets the first pick each year and – no surprise – the network has selected the Ohio State-Michigan game in 2017 (Fox also gets the annual conference championship game).

When a reporter asked whether Fox would get the first pick each week, Fox Sports executive Larry Jones said no but joked: “That’s a good idea.”

To which ESPN’s Burke Magnus replied: “That will be in year seven of the six-year deal.”

Big Ten football now has broadcast partners in ESPN, Fox Sports and BTN. CBS will continue to have media rights to basketball games.

Jones said of ESPN: “Sometimes we can play in the same sandbox…We can work with ESPN to promote a great conference.”

New talent: BTN has hired former Big Ten stars Corey Wootton (Northwestern), James Laurinaitis (Ohio State) and Braylon Edwards (Michigan) to its broadcast team. BTN president Mark Silverman said Laurinaitis “had perhaps the best screen test I’ve ever seen.”


Source: Chicago Tribune

Featured Image: Campus Pressbox

Inset Image: Chicago Tribune

Big Ten announces 6-year partnership with ESPN and Fox Sports worth $2.64B
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