8 things to know about the Big Ten’s new broadcast deals

The Big Ten unveiled its long-awaited new television rights deals Thursday morning.

“We’re really excited about the new diversity in platforms,” Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith said after the deals Fox, CBS and NBC were announced.

Here are eight things to know about the new arrangements:

1. Beginning next year, the conference will have football games available nationally on broadcast TV in the noon, 3:30 p.m. and prime-time windows on Saturdays.

Fox found ratings gold with the move of its best-available game to the early window on Saturdays, and that practice will continue.

After losing the SEC rights to ESPN, CBS will fill its high-profile mid-afternoon slot with 15 Big Ten in 2024. It will also have seven Big Ten games next season at a time that was not announced.

“Fox has been an unbelievable partner over the years,” Smith said. “Then to add powerhouses like CBS and NBC and what they bring was just a phenomenal opportunity.”

2. NBC is planning a weekly “Big Ten Saturday Night” broadcast.

The network will supplement its long-time deal with Notre Dame football by putting on a Big Ten game in the evening every week.

All of NBC’s Big Ten games and all of CBS’ Big Ten games will be streamed on their respective services, Peacock and Paramount-Plus.

3. Fox could get more high-profile games.

The network said in a news release it will have “upgraded picks” for its football game of the week, which would seem to mean it will continue to have the highest-profile Big Ten game most weeks and could have it more often.

CBS and NBC are expected to typically end up with the second- and third-best games in a given week.

4. CBS is getting more Big Ten basketball.

The network said it will add to its volume of Big Ten basketball broadcasts, extending a partnership that began more than 30 years ago and has typically involved mostly Sunday afternoon games later in the season.

The network will remain the home of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament semifinals and championship while adding the women’s tournament final beginning in the spring of 2024.

5. But some basketball is moving to streaming.

Peacock will have nearly 80 Big Ten regular season basketball games (as many as 47 Big Ten men’s games and 30 women’s basketball games) that are only available on the service, a major change for fans used to finding most men’s games on broadcast TV or cable.

Peacock will also have eight exclusive football games.

“Having a traditional linear network was important, and to be able to dip our toe a little bit stronger into direct-to-consumer streaming was another great opportunity,” Smith said.

6. The Big Ten Football Championship Game will no longer be exclusively on Fox.

CBS gets the 2024 edition and ‘28 while NBC gets the 2026 game.

Fox will still have the game in ‘23, ‘25′ 27 and ‘29.

7. The completion of the deal also means the divorce from ESPN/ABC is official.

This was reported last week but became official with the deals being signed and announced.

Big Ten football and basketball will no longer appear on ESPN or its family of networks after the sports broadcasting behemoth went all-in on the SEC with a new deal that begins in 2024.

“ABC and ESPN were great partners,” Smith said. “We enjoyed tremendous success with them as partners, and they’re doing great for all of higher education and athletics, but it’s a different world now and different platforms. We’re going to miss them, but we have great platforms moving forward.”

8. The deal reportedly is worth more than $7 billion and set to last for seven years.

Big Ten media rights are now wrapped up through the end of 2029-30, and the league will bring in more than $1 billion per year according to the Associated Press, although Smith said that figure has not been finalized yet.

In addition to ABC, CBS and NBC, the conference will continue to utilize the Big Ten Network as the home of many conference games in multiple sports.

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