IBJNews

Big Ten seeking $20 million in TV money for football title game

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Big Ten Conference officials hope to net a multiyear, multimillion-dollar television deal from the conference’s football championship game.

The inaugural Big Ten Championships will be held in 2011 at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Big Ten officials think they can get $15 million to $20 million annually in TV money from the game.

Sources close to negotiations said ESPN/ABC, which has the current rights to the Big Ten’s regular football season, and Fox are the frontrunners to secure TV rights for the championship game.

Big Ten officials said they have already had discussions with ESPN, Fox and CBS for the game. Sources said NBC and Turner Broadcasting also have interest.

“Such intense interest could push the price up,” said David Morton, president of Indianapolis-based marketing firm Sunrise Sports Group.

Bidding is expected to begin in earnest in October after Big Ten officials decide on two six-school divisions. The deal, sources said, should be finalized by January.

If the Big Ten follows through with its plan, it will be one of the first conferences to ink a separate TV deal for its football championship game. Other conferences, such as the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference, wrap the championship game into their regular-season deal. Sources said, if broken out, the SEC title game would have a value of more than $10 million.

Due to the Big Ten’s revenue-sharing plan, the windfall could bring athletic departments at member schools, including Indiana and Purdue universities, an annual payday near $1.5 million, whether or not they play in the game.

And that’s not all. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany is expected to ask ESPN for more money to televise regular-season games when Nebraska joins the conference next year. ESPN already pays the Big Ten $100 million annually in accordance with terms of a 10-year deal it signed with the conference in 2007.

But Delany told reporters at this month’s media day the current price doesn’t include the addition of a 12th team, and that he expects that price tag to increase—especially when considering Nebraska’s strong following.

While $20 million seems high for a conference football championship game, the Big Ten may have the following to command it, Morton said.

The SEC title game has set the standard for TV ratings, earning an 11.1 last year and netting 18 million viewers for CBS, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research.

The Big Ten championship game is expected to air in prime time. One source close to the conference said it likely will air directly after the SEC title game. The Big Ten championship game could fill the time slot previously occupied by the Big 12 championship game, which kicked off at 8 p.m.

Starting next season, the Big 12 will no longer play a championship game because it does not have enough teams—under NCAA rules—after the defection of Nebraska to the Big Ten. Last year’s Big 12 game scored 12.7 million viewers for ABC, according to Nielsen.

Morton thinks the Big Ten will draw more viewers than the Big 12 or SEC title games.

“Eighteen million viewers is a very, very strong number for the SEC,” Morton said. “Still, the Big Ten has much larger markets in the Midwest than the SEC does in the Southeast. And we know people in the Midwest love college athletics.

“Even if the SEC has better teams right now, they just can’t match the markets of Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus (Ohio), Chicago, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. The Big Ten markets have far more homes, which means more eyeballs watching. And that means more dollars for the Big Ten.”

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Guyberwick
    The fairness doctrine actually relates to media. Title IX relates to equitable opportunities in college and h.s. sports. Like it or not, it's the law of the land, BG, and you obviously don't have daughters.
  • Greed
    Who said I wanted women't sports funded? I didn't. One more reason to keep the gov'mint out of state and local business. The necessity to provide women's sports across the board, thanks to the "fairness doctrine" will be one of the downfalls of high school and college sports. And, yes, it does cost the taxpayers money, real money. But perhaps you don't pay and taxes cause you suck $$ off the gov'mint......
  • Get Real
    1) nobody makes you subscribe to cable
    2) the athletic departments of IU and Purdue do not get state money - if you want women sports funded as well as all other non revenue sports the only current options are basketball and football - this has nothing to do with greed
  • Big Ten
    The Big Greed conference.
  • cable rates
    ooops there goes the cable rates again....wonder why!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

ADVERTISEMENT