SBD/Issue 49/Sports Media

Fox Obtains Rights To Big Ten Football Title Game In Six-Year Deal

Fox Gets Back Into Broadcasting College
Football With Deal For Big Ten Title Game

Fox Sports signed a six-year deal worth between $130-150M for the rights to televise the Big Ten's football championship game from '11-16. The inaugural game will be played on December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium. Fox outbid ESPN for the rights to the game and agreed to pay between $20-25M per year. News Corp. President & COO Chase Carey, Fox Sports COO Larry Jones, and FSN President Randy Freer were involved with the negotiations for Fox. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany led the talks for the conference, with Wasserman Media Group providing advisory and evaluation services. Delany and Fox Sports Media Group Chair & CEO David Hill will hold a conference call today at 1:30 to discuss the deal (THE DAILY). In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein noted the game "will be played in prime time, essentially replacing the slot that had been taken by the Big 12," which will not hold a title game after this season. Fox has "yet to decide which announcers will call the game" (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 11/17). In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes Fox "has wanted to return to carrying big-time college football on broadcast TV since it was outbid by ESPN two years ago to keep the rights to the BCS games that it held" from '07-10 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/18). FANHOUSE.com's Milton Kent noted Big Ten football games air on a "number of carriers, including ABC and ESPN," but the fact that the Big Ten and Fox are "partners on the highly successful Big Ten Network made it a natural that they would pair for the championship game" (FANHOUSE.com, 11/17). 

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