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Big Ten sets college record with $1 billion-a-year broadcast deal

Fox, CBS and NBC will collectively pay $1.1 billion a year for the rights to broadcast Big Ten Conference sports in the largest deal of its kind for college athletics.

Fox Corp. will pay about $400 million per year to televise football and men’s basketball games, with the opportunity to carry more sports throughout the year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Paramount Global’s CBS and Comcast Corp.’s NBC are each paying about $350 million annually, as Bloomberg previously reported.

The new seven-year contract that starts next season is almost triple the size of the prior deal, where Fox and ESPN were paying $430 million a year combined. Rights to air sports on TV and streaming networks have gotten increasingly costly in recent years, squeezing media companies that are also grappling with the loss of cable subscribers.

Two years ago, Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC and ESPN, agreed to pay the Southeastern Conference around $300 million annually for its media rights, up significantly from the $55 million per year that CBS has been paying. ESPN declined to pay about $380 million a year for a portion of the Big Ten package, ending a longtime relationship with the conference.

Fox also owns 61% of the Big Ten Network, which will still televise the conference’s football, basketball and Olympic sport competitions. CBS and NBC will show games on their respective streaming services, Paramount+ and Peacock. Bloomberg

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