Big Ten announces 7-year media rights deal with CBS, FOX, NBC and Peacock

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CBS will carry seven Big Ten football games as well as regular season and postseason men’s basketball as well as, for the first time, the women’s basketball tournament final.

As for basketball, CBS will broadcast up to 11 regular-season men’s basketball games in 2023 and will carry 15 games (13 of which will be conference games) from 2024 onward; CBS will continue to carry the Big Ten tournament semifinals and the championship game, which leads into the CBS Selection Sunday show each March.

Peacock will stream 32 regular-season men’s basketball games (20 conference games) in 2023-24 and 47 games (32 conference games) from 2024-25 onward as well as the Big Ten tournament’s opening night doubleheader. Peacock will also stream 30 regular-season women’s basketball games (20 conference games) per year starting in 2023-24.

Fox/FS1 will carry a minimum of 45 regular-season men’s basketball games per year, while BTN will carry a minimum of 126 men’s games per year. BTN will air the four Thursday games and four quarterfinal games of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.

So 32 conference games on Peacock per year, 47 total. One maybe 2 per year for Michigan on there? That’s not much fewer than FS1. How many games are played in the conference total? I’m not sure of the math there. I don’t mind that for me personally since right now I have Peacock for free, but basically no one will watch those games besides the fans of the individual teams. Will be interesting to see how that turns out. Streaming will definitely make a play for sports at some point.

140 conference basketball games so NBC has 14%. NBC will probably have the highest % of games next to BTN. If you bundle FS1 and Fox then they would be 2nd but Fox itself doesn’t do a lot of games.

That’s what I thought it was. (14*20)/2

I assume NBC flagship is carrying conference games but it doesn’t say how many. Nor does it delineate conference games for Fox/BTN

Some I’m gonna have to purchase how many different streaming services to watch every basketball game?


Just Peacock and some form of traditional cable TV (whether cable or via internet provider).

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No BTN+ games?

Not sure what’ll happen with BTN-Plus. I feel like it is hanging on by a thread.

I also don’t think they’ve had a regular season Michigan game for 2-3 years now, no?

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BTN+ will probably still exist to show Olympic sports and bottom-tier non-conference games, I’d imagine.

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I get that $5 for Peacock seems weird now but I’m pretty sure it won’t by the end of the deal.

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Makes sense to roll it into someone else platform honestly whether it is Peacock, Paramount+, Fox Sports, etc.

Peacock has stagnant membership growth over the past 3 quarters and widening profit losses in that time. I think that there is a ceiling on “how many $5-$15 services people are willing to pay for”, and thus every tv station transitioning to a streaming platform is just not going to work. This is beyond the scope of “Michigan basketball” obviously. It has a paid subscription base of 13 million. If NBC’s plan is to shed it’s broadcast business in favor of that…I don’t know man.

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One argument I don’t get is the exposure one. If the people who want to watch can watch then who cares? Is the concern that if ratings are low then the next media contract won’t be as good? We just went through a whole cycle where everybody said basketball ratings don’t matter.

Because “oh, that game is on, I will watch it” is a different process than signing up, giving credit details, etc. I mean, look at the numbers Prey is doing on hulu vs basically any moderately supported theater release.


Well, it’s an entirely different model with a different payout structure than “oh I will watch it.”

Yes, that’s sort of my point?

Not sure they are “dropping their broadcast business”? But I imagine they are going to invest heavily in Peacock moving forward and having Big Ten sports, EPL and Olympics on there is only going to help.

They did drop NBCSN if that’s what you mean.

Well, who is concerned with the “ratings” in that case then? I.e., why is it a concern? Who is comparing ratings of third-tier conference games? Are those really impacting “exposure” in some meaningful way?

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Do we know it’s third tier games? That’s not how NBC manages its EPL broadcasts (mostly). MC/Liverpool last year was not on USA, for instance. Probably best (this goes for me too) to see what games get shown where, otherwise we can both just concoct worst/best case hypotheses.

Personally, I definitely have streaming fatigue. And I think the success of Paramount, Peacock, and the old media streaming efforts (ie, the profound lack of success) suggests this maybe isn’t the end state.

The fact is, sports are the only argument these services have. NBC/CBS aren’t going to make movies, and the tv show content is free on their tv station. If there plan is to be economically viable on the EPL and Big Ten completionist, I guess I question that.


Agree, streaming is going see mass consolidation and contraction. I dont think traditional cable is done at all, not going be what it used to be, but still the best model to get the best bang for the buck ultimately.