The Big 10 signed a seven-year, $7 billion deal with NBC, FOX, and CBS that takes effect in 2023-24. This new TV deal starts this season (2023) and will run through the 2029-30 season.
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ESPN was able to pull out of the Big 10 negotiations, in part, because the network has the ACC and SEC committed to ESPN as their broadcast partner through 2036 and 2034 respectively.
This left the Big 10, the conference with the most living graduates, as the only available option for inking a TV deal to broadcast one of the nation’s most popular sports. The rights to air Big 10 Football were snapped up by some of the biggest names in media, to create a trio of nationally televised football games from noon to midnight every Saturday.
Under the new deal, the Big 10 Football lineup will be aired in three primetime time slots:
- The early noon marquee game will air on FOX as part of its Big Noon Saturday brand. FOX has “first dibs” on the biggest games each week.
- CBS still has the rights to some SEC games in 2023, but will also air 7 Big 10 games in preparation for a much bigger role starting in 2024 when USC and UCLA join the conference. The CBS games will air in the old ABC 3:30 time slot.
- NBC purchased the rights to feature night games, branded Big Ten Saturday Night, on both NBC and Peacock.
- Big Ten Network, which is owned by FOX, will still broadcast games under the new deal, usually matchups between unranked opponents.
Impact on Recruiting
The Big Ten’s decision to work a deal with the biggest names in media across every major time slot on Saturdays will only build the conference’s brand, and the strategy may help the Big Ten gain a competitive advantage in the world of recruiting. From a TV perspective, the biggest NCAAF games most weeks, as well as the games that can be accessed by the most fans without the need for a cable or streaming subscription, will be Big 10 games. Over the life of the contract, and especially as excitement builds over USC and UCLA joining the conference, the sheer number of eyeballs on Big 10 games will likely impact recruiting for players who factor in the value of having the national spotlight each week. For example, under the new TV deal, virtually every Ohio State football game will be nationally televised for the next 7 years.
As we saw with FOX trading popular NFL announcer Joe Buck to ESPN in exchange for the rights to air last year’s Ohio State vs. Notre Dame game on Big Noon Kickoff, the Big Ten TV contracts have created a hierarchy of games throughout the season. FOX sits at the top, with CBS and NBC next. Next up for less popular matchups are Big 10 Network and Peacock. Peacock will feature 8 streaming-exclusive Big 10 football games each season.
How to live stream Big 10 football in 2023
In the table below, I have summarized the live TV streaming providers that carry the channels necessary to watch Big Ten Football live online.
Note that Sling TV only carries FOX and NBC in select markets.