NBCUniversal and its Peacock streamer get Big Ten Saturday night

The Big Ten lined up a series of big paydays for itself with a rights deal announced Thursday with CBS, Fox and NBC that will reportedly yield more than $7 billion over its seven-year term.

The Rosemont, Illinois, mega-conference did not disclose a dollar value, but multiple journalists — for example, Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde, the Associated Press’ Ralph Russo, and ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg — cited unnamed people close to or familiar with the deal to report that top-line figure.

NBCUniversal and its Peacock streaming service will see the biggest change to their schedule, with the Comcast subsidiary announcing that it will “become the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night football” starting in 2023. Peacock will also get an extra eight Big Ten football games each season.

CBS and Fox will split the rest of Saturday football, with Fox keeping the noon game and CBS (with its Paramount+ service) taking over the mid-afternoon game. ESPN, meanwhile, will end a 40-year streak of carrying Big Ten football games.

The deal also covers Big Ten men’s basketball games, plus a smaller slate of women’s basketball games.

In a research note posted Thursday, MoffettNathanson analysts Robert Fishman, Michael Nathanson and James Caceres wrote that they “see no signs of slowdown for top tier sports rights.”

The analysts noted the growing pressure of cord cutting and slower advertising growth but said “sports remains the glue to the media ecosystem.” And college football will become a more valuable adhesive, especially at “conferences with stability and growing importance.”

The Big Ten — which now includes 14 schools and has expanded far outside its Midwestern roots — clearly counts as such. In 2024, it will grow to 16 members and reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific with the additions of the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles.

MoffettNathanson’s analysts warned that other conferences and sports properties could suffer as media companies work to make room in their budgets for massive rights deals like the Big Ten’s.

“However, ultimately we believe these growing sports checks paid by the traditional media companies need to come from somewhere,” they wrote. “We could see pressure on some other existing deals including college conferences under upheaval (e.g. Pac 12) as well as NASCAR or lower tier sports properties.”