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Big Ten Finalizes Media Rights Deal With FOX, CBS, & NBC

Penn State fans will get to watch the Nittany Lions on unfamiliar television networks starting in 2023.

The Big Ten has finalized a new media rights deal with FOX, CBS, NBC, and Peacock, the conference announced Thursday morning. When the deal begins on July 1, 2023, it’ll mark the first time since 1982 without any Big Ten football or basketball matchups airing across ESPN-affiliated networks. The deal runs through the 2029-30 season.

While CBS and NBC have long been synonymous with weekend coverages of SEC and Notre Dame football, respectively, the two media giants will now serve as the conference’s exclusive second and third media shareholders behind FOX.

The new media rights deal will allow for Big Ten football to dominate the airways on Saturdays. The conference’s games at noon will air on FOX, on CBS at 3:30, and then on NBC for prime-time matchups.

“The new rights agreements are an incredible achievement for our entire conference and a true testament of what can be accomplished with teamwork,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said. “I am incredibly grateful for collaborative efforts and hard work of our conference staff, specifically Laura Anderson, Anil Gollahalli, Kerry Kenny and Adam Neuman, our presidents and chancellors, athletics directors, coaches, student-athletes, and our partners at CBS, NBC and FOX Sports for solidifying unprecedented Big Ten access across transformative media companies for our fans to tune-in and follow the Big Ten content they love.”

With the Big Ten’s recently announced additions of USC and UCLA, the new media deal is expected to bring “more than $7 billion” to the conference, per ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. Furthermore, Rittenberg said the conference is expected to distribute “$80 million-$100 million per year to each of its 16 members.”

The three major networks will all air Big Ten football championship games from 2023 to 2029. FOX will get the game for four years (2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029, CBS for two (2024, 2028), and NBC in 2026.

With the new deal, the Big Ten Network will continue to air a wide-ranging slate of conference sporting events. For a more in-depth breakdown of each network’s rights in the new deal, head over to the release.

For the first time in 22 years, Penn State football will return to CBS at 3:30 p.m. on September 18 for a non-conference road clash with Auburn. The Nittany Lions haven’t played on NBC since 2006 when Joe Paterno’s top-20 squad fell to No. 4 Notre Dame 41-17 in South Bend.

Since Penn State’s annual White Out tradition officially gained traction in 2004, all 17 contests have aired live on either ESPN or ABC. This year’s attraction proves to be no different, as the Nittany Lions’ midseason affair against Minnesota will air on an ESPN network at 7:30 p.m. on October 22.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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