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Report: NBC, CBS closing in on Big Ten media rights deal

ESPN will no longer air Big Ten football or basketball games.

2022 Big Ten Conference Football Media Days Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Big Ten is getting close to finalizing a media rights deal with CBS and NBC. The networks will join Fox, who will continue to be the conference’s primary rights holder.

According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, NBC and CBS are looking like the winners in this deal after ESPN pulled out of negotiations. ESPN ends a 40-year partnership with the Big Ten after declining a seven-year, $380 million per year package.

Fox currently owns a 60% stake in Big Ten Network and will continue to lead this agreement. It will continue to carry the “A” package of Big Ten games while CBS and NBC split the “B” package.

The details have not been finalized just yet but it is looking like they have a plan in place if agreed upon. CBS will add a 3:30 P.M. ET game on Saturdays while NBC wants to add a primetime slot for the Big Ten. This will come after Notre Dame plays in its usual 2:30 P.M. ET slot.

Amazon and Apple are also working to get a deal done involving a streaming package but NBC and CBS are the clear frontrunners to take TV rights.

ESPN is currently the exclusive rights holder of the SEC. The network has also expressed interest in the Pac-12 because of the appeal of late-night, West coast games. Right now, the Big Ten has al avenues covered with the addition of UCLA and USC.

The current media rights deal for the Big Ten expires in 2023. Following the 2023 season, UCLA and USC are expected to join the conference and get a share of revenue right away. Once the deal is agreed upon, the Big Ten is expecting to be the first conference to exceed $1 billion in negotiations. CBS is expected to pay upwards of $350 million per year for the 3:30 P.M. ET time slot.

This deal is expected to be set soon as both sides finalize details. If the Big Ten exceeds $1 billion, this will triple the current agreement and bring more money to each school.