FOX Sports retains ‘premier media rights’ to Big Ten football, basketball

FOX Sports announced Thursday it had reached an agreement with the Big Ten to retain its “premier collegiate media rights” for football and basketball games. 

Highlights of the new deal include upgraded selections for FOX’s college football “Game of the Week,” and the network also will air four of the next seven Big Ten Football Championship Games. 

Other highlights include an increased football game count across the FOX family of networks, the ability to add top matchups outside the noon window with the additions of USC and UCLA to the conference and 200-plus men’s basketball games that will air across the FOX family of networks. 

FOX Sports leads the trio of networks that reached a media rights agreement with the Big Ten on Thursday. CBS Sports and NBC also reached seven-year deals for the remainder of the package.

FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks expressed his excitement to continue working with the Big Ten, which has had a media agreement with the network since 2011.

“We are proud to expand upon our long-standing partnership with the Big Ten Conference and further bolster our position as the premier rights holder of the conference,” Shanks said in a statement. “Commissioner [Kevin] Warren’s leadership and vision have resulted in the growth and recent market expansion of the Big Ten Conference. In an ever-evolving landscape, the Big Ten remains the most storied collegiate athletic conference in the country.”

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren shared a similar sentiment. 

“Today we extend our long-standing media rights partnership with FOX to ensure that our fans will be delivered exciting Big Ten football, women’s and men’s basketball, Olympic sports and creative conference storytelling across FOX, FS1 and BTN,” Warren added in the statement. “We deeply value the special relationship that our conference has with the outstanding team at FOX Sports, specifically Eric Shanks, Mark Silverman and Larry Jones, who have consistently worked to strengthen and grow the Big Ten Conference brand across the nation.”

The 2022 season kicks off Saturday, Aug. 27, when Nebraska and Northwestern square off in Dublin, Ireland. In the 2021 regular season, “Big Noon Saturday” was the most-watched college football window across any network.

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