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Here’s when Fox Sports president expects the Big Ten media rights deal to be finalized

The Big Ten is getting closer to finalizing its new media rights deal. Estimates suggest it will start at around $1 billion annually.

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FILE - The Big Ten logo is displayed on the field before an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Miami of Ohio in Iowa City, Iowa., Aug. 31, 2019. History and tradition? Those terms carry no weight in what has essentially become a game of Risk, with the Big Ten and Southeastern Conference taking turns rolling the dice to determine how to divvy up the world of college football.

Charlie Neibergall, AP

The Big Ten Conference shouldn’t be long without a new and highly lucrative media rights deal.

In an interview with The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman published Wednesday, Fox Sports president and COO Mark Silverman estimated that a deal between Fox and the Big Ten will be finalized sometime in the next few weeks.

“I would be surprised if it goes to Labor Day,” Silverman told Dochterman.

Silverman would know, as he “oversees all aspects of live event and studio programming, production, marketing and digital” for Fox, FS1 and FS2, and — per The Athletic — Fox owns “61% equity in BTN and will remain the Big Ten’s primary rights holder in the future.”

At Big Ten media day on Tuesday, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren expressed similar optimism about a deal being finalized soon.

“Media rights, we’ve been working on those,” Warren said. “I’m incredibly pleased with where we are. We have great opportunities. We’re finalizing our deals, and I look forward to standing before you to make an announcement sometime here, sooner than later.”

According to Dochterman, Silverman and Fox Sports executive vice president Larry Jones have joined Warren and Big Ten senior associate commissioner Kerry Kenny in all Big Ten negotiations with networks such as CBS, NBC and ABC/ESPN, as well as streaming services such as Amazon.

Current estimates put the Big Ten’s new media rights deal starting around $1 billion, though that was the number established prior to the conference adding USC and UCLA.

Per Front Office Sports, the new number could be “around 10% higher,” though a 25% increase isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Based on those estimates, the Big Ten’s new media rights deal could go for somewhere between $1.1 billion and $1.25 billion per year, either of which would be a record breaking figure.

By way of comparison, in 2017, the Big Ten signed a six-year deal worth a total of $2.64 billion. That deal is up in 2023.