Why Big Ten’s interest in adding additional Pac-12 schools is reportedly cooling for now
The Big Ten is reportedly focused more on finalizing its new media rights deal right now than exploring further expansion
After reports last week that the Big Ten Conference was evaluating the value of further expanding — including adding more teams from the Pac-12 Conference — that consideration is reportedly cooling for now.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported that the Big Ten, which will be adding USC and UCLA in 2024, is focused on its new media rights deal instead, and that the Big Ten isn’t as interested in adding other Pac-12 programs Oregon, Washington, Stanford and California.
The reason is that “rightsholders were balking at paying the same amount for those schools as the 16 Big Ten schools going forward ($80 million-$100 million),” Dodd wrote.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said at the conference’s football media days last month that the league will be strategic in evaluating further expansion possibilities and not just “expand just to expand.”
“It will be strategic, it will add additional value to our conference and it will provide a platform to even have our student-athletes be put on a larger platform so they can build their careers but also that they have an opportunity to grow and learn from an education and from an athletic standpoint,” he told the assembled media.
The current Big Ten media rights contract expires after the 2023 season, and the league didn’t make an announcement during media days regarding the conference’s new media rights deal.
At media days, Warren said the league will be announcing something “sooner than later” regarding its new media rights deal, per Sports Illustrated.
Dodd reported that the Big Ten’s new media rights deal is expected to pay out around $1 billion annually.