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Report: ESPN Drops Out Of Big Ten Media Rights Negotiations, Ending Long Partnership

Aug 9, 2022, 10:01 AM | Updated: 10:01 am
Big Ten - Kevin Warren...
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 12: Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren speaks following the cancellation of the men's basketball tournament due to concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 12, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Big Ten Conference and ESPN have reportedly ended media rights negotiations, ending the longest sports media relationship in the business.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal is reporting that ESPN is backing out of the media rights negotiations that the Big Ten is working through after their latest offer.

Ourand reported that ESPN turned down the latest offer of a 7-year, $380 million per-year package. ESPN executives believed that they would have to pay that amount just to keep their package with the Big Ten, which was much higher than they wanted to go.

With ESPN out of the picture, the Big Ten will now shift to CBS and NBC joining FOX in their new media rights deal. According to Ourand, CBS is expected to carry a football game in the 1:30 p.m. MT window on Saturdays with NBC carrying one game in primetime.

ESPN has carried Big Ten football games since 1982. ABC has carried Big Ten games since 1966. The new deal reportedly features FOX Sports carrying the “A” package of games in the Big Noon window with FS1 and Big Ten Network carrying an undetermined amount of games.

The New York Post reported that CBS will pay around $350 million for its package and NBC will also pay around $350 million.

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