John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reported on Tuesday afternoon that the Big Ten and FOX are nearing a deal for half of the conference's broadcasting rights.
Fox is close to a deal to pick up half the Big Ten's media rights package. SBD Closing Bell will have all the details.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) April 19, 2016
Earlier this year, Ben Raphel authored a two-part piece on how ESPN has been screwing the pooch and whether FOX was a logical landing spot for the Big Ten's business.
Per John Ourand at SBJ, the deal is flexible depending on the other half of the contract, but will likely account for 25 football games and and 50 basketball games divided between the Fox Network and FS1 starting in 2017. It's also worth a staggering amount of money -- up to $1.5 BILLION OVER SIX YEARS. That's insane -- and roughly double the amount of the conference's ten year, $1 Billion dollar deal with ESPN that's about to expire. The Worldwide Leader will compete with CBS, NBC, and Turner -- for "one to two" more cable or network partners for the other half of the deal.
It's difficult to know at this point exactly what a potential deal would look like, beyond being worth incredibly stupid amounts of money, but it's hard to imagine that a network that puts its eggs in the same basket as Jason Whitlock, Colin Cowherd, and Clay Travis, buries matchups on Fox Sports 2, which a large number of fans probable don't have included in their TV packages, and has generally terrible programming outside of live games will make Big Ten fans happy.