Illinois releases joint statement regarding Big Ten media rights deal

Jul 26, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Big Ten conference helmets are displayed during Big 10 football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 26, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Big Ten conference helmets are displayed during Big 10 football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports /

On Thursday morning, the Big Ten announced its much-anticipated television rights deal that begins with the 2023-2024 academic and athletic calendar 

The Big Ten is set to make significant changes to its television packages within the following year. Anticipated for several months, the conference announced a new lineup that will see games air on FOX Sports, CBS Sports, NBC/Peacock, the Big Ten Network, BTN+, and Paramount Plus. The deal concludes at the end of the 2029-2030 season.

Per a release from the Big Ten office, expect college football to run all day in some capacity, beginning at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT. The deal also includes men’s and women’s basketball, plus other non-revenue and Olympic sporting events around the conference.

"“Big Ten Conference football will dominate Saturdays, beginning in the fall of 2023 on the largest broadcast platforms from morning to night, with FOX at Noon ET, CBS at 3:30 p.m. ET and NBC in Prime Time,” the release stated. “With the addition of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC) in August 2024, the conference, its student-athletes, and member institutions will reach the broadest audience in the country, coast-to-coast, including the top three media markets in the country in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The media rights agreements will begin July 1, 2023, and run through the 2029-30 season.”"

The deal comes in at around $7 billion, according to The Athletic.

Illinois reacts to the Big Ten television agreement

Illinois released a joint statement on behalf of Chancellor Robert Jones and athletic director Josh Whitman about what this new era means for Illinois, the Big Ten Conference, and college athletics as a whole.

Chancellor Jones looks forward to continuing his support for Illinois and seeing student-athletes from his University thrive on the biggest stage.

"“The Big Ten is having a historic summer under Commissioner Kevin Warren’s leadership,” said Chancellor Robert J. Jones. “We started with the addition of UCLA and USC, and now we are celebrating this new seven-year media rights agreement. The new contract will provide critical stability to our conference schools and athletic programs during the most dynamic period of change college athletics has ever experienced. This agreement is great news for Illinois Athletics, and it gives even more fans more ways to enjoy the most competitive and most exciting athletic conference in the nation.”"

Whitman echoed Jones’ sentiment.

"“Today is a memorable day for the Big Ten Conference and Illinois Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. “The Conference’s new media deal will further amplify the brand of our league through unprecedented partnerships with a collection of the most prominent, dynamic media companies in the world. By virtue of our new agreements, we will deliver unmatched visibility and opportunity to the University of Illinois, our Fighting Illini teams, and our student-athletes. We expect to reach new, more diverse audiences and continue to build and expand our Illini fan base. These agreements further solidify the position of the Big Ten as one of the most stable, progressive, respected conferences in the history of college sports; as a founding member, we are proud of the Conference’s longstanding values and its leadership position in the midst of such a unique, rapidly changing time in intercollegiate athletics. We are grateful to Commissioner Warren and our colleagues across the Conference who have worked so diligently to make these opportunities possible, and we look forward to a brighter future for Illinois Athletics thanks, in part, to these new partnerships.”"

Brad Underwood, Bret Bielema, and Shauna Green react to the news

Men’s basketball head coach Brad Underwood, football head coach Bret Bielema, and women’s basketball head coach Shauna Green, were pleased to hear that the news is finally out and look forward to seeing their teams compete on a multitude of networks with a lot of ratings potentially at stake.

Underwood is excited for his players to get even more exposure, while Green looks forward to potentially competing on CBS for a conference title in the near future. As for Bielema, he is grateful that the Big Ten has given Illinois and the rest of the conference a chance to “be at the forefront of the evolving world of college athletics.”

For now, though, the anticipation ahead of the 2023-2024 season has officially begun.

Next. Lou Henson’s most impressive numbers with the Illini. dark