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Longtime Media Executive Tony Petitti Named Next Big Ten Commissioner

Former MLB and sports television executive Tony Petitti will be the Big Ten’s next commissioner, as announced by the conference Wednesday. Petitti is set to become the seventh commissioner in conference history.

The Big Ten commissioner position came open when Kevin Warren, Petitti’s predecessor, announced his intention to vacate the position and become the Chicago Bears’ team president and CEO in January.

“At this important and transformational time in collegiate athletics, it is truly my great honor to be chosen by the Council of Presidents and Chancellors as the commissioner of the Big Ten Conference,” Petitti said. “I am energized to work alongside the best athletics directors, coaches, conference staff and board in the country as – together – we continue to elevate the academic and athletic experiences and resources for our 14, soon-to-be 16, world-class universities with nearly 10,000 incredible student-athletes. Thank you to the extraordinary people and places that have led me to this next challenge in my career. I am ready to get to work for the Big Ten Conference community.”

Petitti previously served as the COO of Major League Baseball, as well as multiple other sports media executive positions. Included among Petitti’s other noteworthy experiences are stints as NBC Sports’ senior vice president of negotiations, president of sports and entertainment at Activision Blizzard, and overseeing CBS’ coverage of March Madness and the Super Bowl.

“I would like to thank all the candidates who spent time with us during the commissioner search process as each illustrated outstanding leadership qualities and a breadth of experience,” University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines said. “The Big Ten Conference is in an extraordinary position of strength. Tony’s capabilities to navigate the complexities of changing marketplace environments, history as a collaborative leader, and passion for academics and collegiate athletics made him the right leader, at the right time, for the Big Ten Conference.”

Petitti will assume his new role amid a new media rights deal for the conference, reportedly worth over $8 billion. The agreement, organized by Warren in August 2022, will place Big Ten football on CBS, FOX, and NBC. He will begin his tenure on May 15. 

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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