CBS and NBC reportedly in line to replace ESPN as Big Ten secondary TV partners

ESPN’s 40-year partnership with the Big Ten may be coming to an end.

According to a report by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC emerged as the “clear” favorites to secure Big Ten TV rights alongside Fox, leaving ESPN on the outside.

ESPN is still negotiating with the Big Ten while Amazon has also made an offer to broadcast games, according to Ourand’s report. Negotiations are coming to an end, however, as Ourand reports that the Big Ten’s new TV contract could be announced by the end of the week or next week.

Fox has already locked in its position as the Big Ten’s primary rights holder and will continue to air a top game every week at noon as well as games on FS1 and Big Ten Network, in which it has a 60% stake.

Deals with CBS and NBC have yet to be finalized, but these two networks are expected to share secondary television rights, with CBS airing games at 3:30 p.m. and NBC airing games during prime time. . According to Ourand’s report, NBC’s deal would also include a set of games to air on Peacock.

ESPN has aired Big Ten football and basketball games since 1982 — and ABC has aired Big Ten games since 1966 — but that long partnership will end after the upcoming season if ESPN doesn’t reach a deal with the conference.

The Big Ten’s new TV deal will take effect in 2023, as the Big Ten’s current deal with Fox and ESPN expires next summer.

The new deal is expected to be the first deal with a college athletic conference worth more than $1 billion a year. By Andrew Marchand of the New York PostCBS is expected to pay around $350 million a year for its part of the deal.

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