Report: Fox, Big Ten close to agreement on television package
Fox and the Big Ten are closing in on a deal for half of the conference’s media rights package, reports Sports Business Daily.
The Big Ten currently has football and basketball television contracts with ESPN and CBS, with the CBS deal being for basketball only. Both will end next spring.
Fox is close to acquiring half of those current packages, in a deal that would net it nearly 25 football games and 50 basketball games a year, according to the report. The games would air on Fox's broadcast channel as well as FS1 beginning in the fall of 2017.
The Big Ten will also be in the market to sell the second half of that package, which could include a similar number of football and basketball games, according to the report. Those expected to bid on the second package include ESPN, CBS, Turner and NBC.
The Big Ten Network will retain its package of games. Fox owns 51% of BTN, which has its own deal through 2032. The conference may also offer a separate digital rights deal to digital media companies.