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NBC: Big Ten Media Rights Is Biggest New Property Deal Since NFL

“I can’t think of a bigger deal in the 16 years I’ve been here than the Big Ten. It’s very rare to see these properties change hands.”

Jordan Bondurant

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NBC Sports can’t be more excited to be a part of the new Big Ten media rights deal going into effect in 2023.

As part of their share of the $1 billion per year agreement, NBC will shell out $350 million each season to the conference for rights to 14-16 football games over the next seven years.

On a recent edition of SportsProMedia’s StreamTime Podcast, Peacock chief commercial officer Rick Cordella said this was the biggest acquisition for NBC since the network became the home to Sunday Night Football in the NFL in 2006.

“I joined NBC just after the NFL deal and [since then] we’ve re-engaged with NASCAR in 2013 and have signed some pretty important renewals along the way,” he said. “But in terms of a new property, I can’t think of a bigger deal in the 16 years I’ve been here than the Big Ten. It’s very rare to see these properties change hands.”

Cordella added that while NBC’s relationship with Notre Dame is historic and something to hang their hat on, it’s the longevity of the future of the Big Ten as a conference and pseudo-mega conference that makes being in on the new deal so monumental.

“We have a long relationship with Notre Dame that’s pretty unique and something we’re proud of, but to have Big Ten football every week in the fall…that conference is going to be a dominant force in college athletics, and we don’t have to worry about teams being poached and leaving (the conference),” he said.

The fact that Peacock will also be streaming football and men’s and women’s basketball games is another perk.

“It was the right spot to focus our investment and we’re excited to have content across both NBC and Peacock,” Cordella said. “That was an important factor.”

Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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