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Report: NBC Sports Interested in Acquiring Rights to Big Ten Games

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 30: Wide receiver Jason Estrella #86 of the Penn State Nittany Lions dives for a touchdown during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on October 30, 2021.(Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)

Since before World War II, the words “college football on NBC” have, for the most part, meant “Notre Dame football on NBC.”

Now, it could mean Penn State football on NBC. Or Ohio State football on NBC. Or Michigan football on NBC. You get the picture.

Michael McCarthy and Amanda Christovich of Front Office sports report that  NBC is expected to try and acquire the Big Ten’s media rights, and those rights could cost as much as $1.1 billion. Currently, both ESPN and Fox have rights to Big Ten games.

One source is reported as saying that the NBC views a combination of Big Ten football and Notre Dame football as “a slam dunk” and another is quoted as saying;

“If I’m ESPN or Fox, I’m looking over my shoulder because NBC is going hard after the Big Ten.”

Sports Business Journal previously reported that the Big Ten is currently on an exclusive negotiating period with ESPN.  CBS Sports, which loses the rights to the SEC after the 2023-24 season, is also reported to be interested in the Big Ten.

As for NBC, a spokesperson told Front Office Sports that the network doesn’t “comment on specific strategies” of its company, but is “always interested in high-quality sports with wide appeal.”


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