ESPN buys the other half of the B1G contract

They decided they couldn’t afford to let the B1G go with NBC right there waiting to pounce. Fox gets first choice of games:

ESPN will pay an average of $190 million per year over six years for essentially half the conference’s media rights package, according to several sources close to the talks. Two months ago, Fox Sports agreed to take the other half of the package for an average of $240 million per year. CBS Sports also has told the conference that it will renew its basketball-only package for $10 million per year.

The $2.64 billion deals with Fox, ESPN and CBS average $440 million per year and nearly triple the amount ESPN and CBS had been paying for the same programming. ESPN signed a 10-year deal worth $100 million annually in 2006 — a payout that increased to $150 million this year due to the addition of Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers to the conference. CBS paid an average of around $6 million for its current basketball-only deal.

The deal does not include Big Ten Network’s package of rights, which runs to 2031-32. Fox owns 51 percent of BTN.

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Interesting breakdown of the B1G deal as well as a look to the future. At some point the TV $$ bubble burst, the only question is when:

Big Ten media rights deal: Big windfall, sizable questions

Concerns about the future may explain why the Big Ten’s agreements with Fox and ESPN are for six years, and not more.

The Pac-12 will be up for a new media rights deal in 2024, with the Big 12 in 2025. The NHL, NFL and MLB will also be seeking new agreements when current deals end after 2021.

In other words, a lot of people will be negotiating during a relatively short time frame.

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