College media rights: What has happened and what’s next?

Aug 25, 2022, 2:50 AM | Updated: 2:51 pm

FILE - Ohio State running back Jalin Marshall (7) is pressured by Notre Dame defensive lineman Doug...

FILE - Ohio State running back Jalin Marshall (7) is pressured by Notre Dame defensive lineman Doug Randolph (44) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA College football game on Jan. 1, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Notre Dame plays at Ohio State on Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

The Big Ten Conference’s, seven-year deal with Fox, CBS and NBC has not only set the benchmark for college sports rights, it has established the latest ground rules for realignment.

With the additions of Southern California and UCLA in 2024, the conference will have schools in the nation’s top three media markets and in every time zone from coast to coast. Whether other conferences follow the Big Ten’s lead will start to be known over the next couple years.

Since realignment can cause outlooks to change, here’s what we know about the current collegiate landscape and what might happen in the future:


Television rights — the right to broadcast or stream conference games, NCAA tournaments and the College Football Playoff, for example — have become the leading source of revenue for the Power Five conferences, supplanting ticket sales and donor contributions. With fewer funds available from student fees or state assistance, media rights provide some certainty due to the length of contracts.

“The rule of thumb is that football drove 80-85% of the rights. It is now 85-90%,” said Jeff Nelson, the president of Navigate, a market research company with clients in sports and entertainment. “With the way football produces the type of viewership numbers, it is more crucial to have football rights.”


The Big Ten will be the first to receive at least $1 billion per year in its deals with Fox, NBC and CBS. If the Big Ten remains at 16 schools in 2025, each program will get at least $162.5 million from conference rights.


The Big Ten and Southeastern conferences. Fox has emerged as a power player in college sports with its relationship with the Big Ten, starting with the two joining forces to form the Big Ten network in 2006. At the other end is ESPN, which will have all SEC programming in 2024 when it takes over the CBS Saturday afternoon football package that is worth $3 billion over 10 years.


As Nelson notes “there will be a division” between the top two (Big Ten, SEC) and next three (Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC).

There will likely be another flurry of realignment. The Big Ten could expand to 20 and the SEC could counter by attempting to raid the ACC, even though the conference’s grant of rights agreement levies huge financial penalties if a school tries to leave early.

Notre Dame will have a lot to say about the future. Will it finally join a conference in football, especially now with NBC, its longtime broadcast partner, teaming up with the Big Ten or will it remain an independent?


The Pac-12 and Big 12 each have their deals expiring soon. The Pac-12’s ends in 2024 and the conference has already started negotiating as it tries to prevent more schools from leaving. The Big 12’s ends in 2025 and it will have a more diverse roster with Cincinnati, Houston, Central Florida and BYU joining the next couple years to replace Texas and Oklahoma, which will be in the SEC by then.

If the Big Ten added three or four Pac-12 programs, that would put the Big 12 in position to snap up most of the remaining schools. Goodbye Power Five and hello Big Four.

Navigate projects all of the Power Five programs to earn at least $50 million from media rights by 2028, but most will still be far behind the SEC and Big Ten.


More AP college football: and Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter:

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

College media rights: What has happened and what’s next?