Fox Intent On Landing Big Ten's Media Rights After ESPN Deal Expires In '16
Fox Sports Senior VP/Programming & Research Mike Mulvihill said that the company "expects to make a major push to acquire Big Ten media rights when the league’s television contract expires" after the '16 football season, according to Scott Dochterman of the Cedar Rapids GAZETTE. Mulvihill: "I think when the time comes, we will certainly be an active participant in next round of Big Ten rights talks. ... I expect that we’ll be a very active participant in those discussions." Dochterman notes Fox "airs the Big Ten football championship game" through '16, and owns 51% of the Big Ten Network. The Big Ten's current $1B deal with ESPN/ABC "for first-tier rights" expires after the '16 football season. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany recently said that he has "no plans to start negotiations for the league’s next deal" until the fall of '15. Fox' package "would involve" FS1, Fox RSNs and the Big Ten Network. With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers next year, the Big Ten’s footprint will "include 11 of the 29 largest metro areas, including three of the top four" in N.Y., Chicago and DC/Baltimore (Cedar Rapids GAZETTE, 9/5).