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Full Big Ten on NBC Schedule Leaked

The Big Ten conference is entering the first season of its seven-year, $7 billion rights deal with NBC, FOX and CBS – the largest media rights contract in history for a college conference.

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Big Ten on NBC
Courtesy: NBC Sports

The 2023 Big Ten conference football schedule on NBC is set, according to a new report by Brett McMurphy of The Action Network. Beginning on Sept. 23, Maryland visits Michigan State at 3:30 p.m. EST/12:30 p.m. PST, a matchup between last year’s conference champion and redshirt senior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. Illinois visits the Purdue Boilermakers one week later at 7:30 p.m. EST/4:30 p.m. PST. Purdue appears on the schedule two more times on NBC, including the following Saturday at Iowa. After that, Iowa becomes a staple of games for the next two weeks, visiting Wisconsin and then hosting Minnesota.

The classic state rivalry matchup between the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans will be played at 7:30 p.m. EST/4:30 p.m. PST on Saturday, Oct. 21 on NBC. Another doubleheader occurs on Nov. 11 starting with Maryland vs. Nebraska and concluding with a battle between Michigan State and Ohio State.

In-between those two dates, NBC visits Camp Randall when the Wisconsin Badgers host the Ohio State Buckeyes on Oct. 28; and Michigan makes another return to prime time when they take on Purdue (Nov. 4). As previously revealed, Ford Field in Detroit is the site of the final scheduled matchup of the year, taking place three-and-a-half hours after the National Football League’s inaugural Black Friday game on Amazon Prime Video. The neutral site will play host to the Penn State Nittany Lions’ face-off against the Michigan State Spartans. All Big Ten football games are expected to be available for streaming on Peacock, and the platform will be the home of eight exclusive conference games throughout the year.

Of course, the schedule is pending changes related to the flex ability of several networks. CBS Executive Vice President of Programming Dan Weinberg revealed that each network will have multiple chances to pick the top game throughout the year, rotating on a weekly basis.

NBC recently announced its plans for coverage of the Big Ten conference, including a new studio show titled B1G College Countdown. The program will take place on the campus of the showcase game and is going to be anchored by Maria Taylor. She will be joined by analysts Matt Cassel, Joshua Perry and Michael Robinson, along with co-host Ahmed Fareed. The network will also introduce a new broadcast booth featuring Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will continue to report from the sidelines.

The Big Ten conference is entering the first season of its seven-year, $7 billion rights deal with NBC, FOX and CBS – the largest media rights contract in history for a college conference. NBC is the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night and will also present the conference’s championship game on its linear channel and Peacock in 2026. Additionally, the deal includes the ability to televise men’s and women’s basketball regular season and tournament games, golf and Olympic sports. 

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FOX Sports Moving UFL Games to Friday Nights in 2025

“The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year.”

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The United Football League logo

FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks recently confirmed a report from Deadline last month that said United Football League games would move to Friday nights in 2025. The Deadline report had said FOX planned to replace WWE Smackdown with sports coverage from college football and basketball as well as games from the UFL.

Shanks’ comments were made during a Zoom with reporters about the news of their new agreement with the NTT IndyCar Series. SI’s Mike Mitchell reported that the UFL worked with FOX to move the games so they could complete their auto racing deal.

Shanks said many of FOX’s UFL games would be moved to Friday night when asked about the change but did not provide more detail.

The UFL was split between FOX and ABC/ESPN this season. The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year and the recent conference championship games were up 57% over the averages from the USFL and XFL last season. According to Mitchell, the league saw a large increase in the 18-49 demographic on FOX compared to USFL programming in 2023.

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Report: WNBA Could Quadruple Media Rights Fees

Under the current structure, the WNBA makes a reported $60 million annually from its media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, Amazon’s Prime Video, CBS and Ion.

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(Illustration) | Courtesy: Women's National Basketball Association

The NBA is reportedly in the process of formalizing new media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal and Amazon’s Prime Video expected to be worth a collective $76 billion over the course of the deal. At the same time, the NBA is also negotiating media rights for the WNBA in which it has an ownership stake of approximately 60%. The WNBA could quadruple its annual media rights fee within these negotiations, according to a new report from Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.

Under the current structure, the WNBA makes a reported $60 million annually from its media rights deals with The Walt Disney Company, Amazon’s Prime Video, CBS and Ion. Throughout the season thus far, the WNBA has seen its ratings increase, drawing more than 1 million viewers across several matchups throughout the regular season. Moreover, discussion surrounding the league is further assimilating into the sports vernacular surrounding stars such as Caitlin Clark, A’ja Wilson, Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart.

Ben Strauss of The Washington Post outlined how the NBA is in the process of considering one total bid from media companies that combines the value of media rights for the NBA and WNBA. With the league itself determining the value of media rights for the WNBA, he argues that it could either be “rocket fuel” for the league or that its augmented popularity “is more of an afterthought.” The possibility exists that it could be a combination of both extremes as well, but by having the league negotiate its media rights deal, quantifying the true value could be a more difficult task.

In a report from earlier in the year, McCarthy stated that the WNBA is likely to negotiate its own separate media rights deal if it is not receiving the remuneration that it wants. The WNBA attained its most-watched opening month in league history, averaging 1.32 million viewers for games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS, Ion and NBA TV. Moreover, the league had its most-attended opening month in its 26-year history with 400,000 fans at games through the end of May and a rise in sales of WNBA-branded merchandise by 236% year-over-year.

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NBA Finals Game 3 Up 2% on ABC and ESPN

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Game 3 of the NBA Finals series which saw Boston take a three games to none lead in the series was up 2% from last year’s Game 3. The game averaged 11,426,000 viewers and peaked at 13,926,000 at 10:45 p.m. ET.

The game was the top draw in all of television for the night and took the top spot in all of the key demographics. So far through three games, the series is even with the television numbers from 2023.

NBA Countdown, the show which airs right before the game begins, was also up two percent compared to the same show a year ago. NBA Countdown averaged 4,330,000 viewers. Through three games, the show is up five percent from last season’s pregame shows.

The Celtics will look to secure their 18th NBA Championship when the two teams meet again for Game 4 tonight at 8:30 ET. If a Game 5 is necessary, it would be played on Monday, June 17.

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