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ESPN out of Big Ten TV rights negotiations

ESPN out of Big Ten TV rights negotiations
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren talks to reporters during an NCAA college football news conference at the Big Ten Conference media days, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Big Ten's next round of media rights contracts will not include a deal with ESPN.

Two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Big Ten was looking for a seven-year deal worth $380 million per year from ESPN, and the network declined.

The agreement would not have given ESPN the ability to have first choice of Big Ten games in a given week at any point.

The Big Ten's other television contracts that will go into effect in 2023 are still being finalized, but ESPN and its parent network ABC will no longer be conference partners, the people confirmed.

Both spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were not being made public.

ESPN has held television rights for the Big Ten since the mid-1980s. The network has shared Big Ten rights with Fox in the latest contract.

Fox, which owns 61% of the Big Ten Network, will remain the primary rights holder.

Sports Business Journal first reported that ESPN was out of the Big Ten negotiations and CBS and NBC were each positioned to land a piece of the conference’s rights for upward of $300 million per year.

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