Big Ten media deal: NBC gets primetime Saturday night game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Big Ten's new media rights contracts with NBC, CBS and Fox will total more than $8 billion over seven years -- the largest conference rights deal in college athletics history.
The gem of the new Big Ten TV deal will belong to NBC, which announced Thursday that it will be airing the biggest Big Ten football game of the week on Saturday nights starting in the fall of 2023.
"The highlight of this partnership will be Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock – a primetime football game each fall weekend," said Pete Bevacqua, chairman of NBC Sports.
Bevacqua added that the Big Ten media deal includes eight additional football games each season on Peacock, the official streaming partner of the Big Ten.
"Coupled with Sunday Night Football, NBC Sports will be the primetime home of America’s most popular sport every Saturday and Sunday," he said. "This is a wonderful addition to our historic college football partnership with the University of Notre Dame. The new agreement with college sports’ top conference will also feature basketball games, Olympic sports, golf and more, providing hundreds of hours of content for us to program across Peacock.
"The Big Ten is an important addition to our portfolio, which includes long-term partnerships through the end of the decade with the NFL, IOC, the PGA TOUR, and Premier League, among others."
The Big Ten's previous media rights deal was for $440 million per year with Fox and ESPN. The new seven-year contract provides the Big Ten with nearly a three-times increase starting with the 2023-24 college athletics season. The deal runs through the 2029-30 fiscal year.
Fox will air the most college football games under the new TV package, with a reported 30-plus contests still being aired on the Big Ten's now longest-tenured media partner.
CBS and NBC are estimated to get around half of that number, ranging anywhere from 15 to 18 games per year.
Thursday's announcement marked the end of the Big Ten's 40-year history with ESPN. The conference couldn't come to terms with the media network on a new contract after the 2022-23 college sports season.