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B1G TV contract could go ballistic with two networks

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The reports are coming out that Fox is in line for half of the next TV deal for the Big Ten. Who gets the other half, and how much will that be worth?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone has talked about "the next B1G TV contract" being the one that will put Rutgers in the black.  The actual numbers in that deal may be coming into focus.

Fox Entertainment is the Big Ten's partner in the operation of BTN, with Fox owning a 51% share of the network.  That, though, is separate from Fox Sports which is the bidder for the TV rights.

Sports Business Daily reports that "the two sides have agreed on basic terms that will give Fox the rights to around 25 football games and 50 basketball games that it will carry on both the broadcast channel and FS1 starting in the fall of '17."  The numbers being bandied about are six years and somewhere around $250 million.  But that is only half of what is being bid on; the other half will be put out to bid with ESPN, CBS, NBC, and others in the running.

If the Ourand report in Sports Business Journal is accurate, it breaks down to $17.8 million per school....and that's for about half of what the conference is offering to the networks.  This contract also does not include digital media rights nor the BTN package of games.

An interesting point made by USA Today's Dan Wolken is that this six year deal means that the Big Ten will be opening up bidding at least once more - more likely twice - before the ESPN deal with the SEC expires in 2034.  That means there could be even more money negotiated by and for the Big Ten while the SEC is locked into a 20-year deal.

It's been widely reported that Rutgers' payout from the Big Ten in year one of membership merely "made it whole" based on what it would have gotten in the AAC.  And we all groaned at the unfairness of that. That deal gave RU around $9.4 million, while everyone else was bathing in gold.  But to assuage our anguish, consider this:

Need a tissue to dry the tears....or ice to ease the pain on your knees as you fall to them thanking Jim Delany?

Whether Rutgers actually will get a full share at that point has not been verified.  The six-year phase in for Rutgers and Maryland technically says that both schools don't become fully vested until 2020-21.  But this contract - the new one beginning in fall 2017 - was negotiated with both the Knights and Terps in the mix.  Does that mean that the TV deal will pay everyone - all 14 schools - an equal share?

Long term, if you are a Rutgers sports fan - and truthfully if you are supportive of Rutgers in any way - this is magical.  The dream is alive...and so are we.  This influx of money begins to make athletics whole, it boosts Rutgers' standing in general, and it helps Rutgers academics in the process. Or in other words....