The official word: The Big Ten Conference has reached a media agreement with FOX Sports to serve as the official broadcast partner of the 2011-16 Big Ten Football Championship Games. The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played in prime time on December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
FOX Sports, the nation’s top-rated network for sports for 13 consecutive years, is well-known for its coverage of some of the biggest sporting events in the country, including the Super Bowl, World Series and Daytona 500. The network also served as the official television home of the Bowl Championship Series for the 2006-09 seasons and has broadcast the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic since 1999. The network will promote the Big Ten Football Championship Game as one of the premium sporting events in the country on all of its platforms, including FOXSports.com, FOX Sports Radio and during its coverage of major fall sports events, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball postseason.
“We are excited to announce that FOX Sports will be the official broadcast partner for the 2011-16 Big Ten Football Championship Games,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “FOX Sports is known for carrying the biggest sporting events in the country and is a leader in the acquisition, creative production and cutting-edge promotion of national events. Big Ten sports have achieved broad coverage in the American sports landscape through agreements with ABC, ESPN, CBS Sports, CBS College Sports Network and the Big Ten Network. We look forward to the addition of FOX Sports, which is committed to promoting Big Ten football and will air the Big Ten Championship Games to more than 115 million homes.”
“Since our inception in 1994, our goal has been to provide viewers with the biggest, most prestigious sporting events in America and the acquisition of the Big Ten Football Championship Game continues that tradition,” said David Hill, Chairman & CEO, FOX Sports Media Group. “We are thrilled to bring this contest to the network and we’re looking forward to providing it an unprecedented, multi-platform promotional effort while maximizing the synergistic opportunities between FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network.”
The Big Ten Network, a joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Networks, is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. The network is available to more than 75 million homes across the United States and Canada, and currently has agreements with more than 300 affiliates. FOX Sports’ coverage of the Big Ten Football Championship Game will allow the Big Ten Network to play a prominent role at the site of the game, including the possibility of shared talent.
In addition to the media agreement with FOX Sports to broadcast the Big Ten Football Championship Game, the conference currently has media agreements with ABC, ESPN, CBS Sports, CBS College Sports Network and the Big Ten Network to provide the conference with its greatest television exposure ever. The Big Ten’s current media agreements have resulted in the production and distribution of more than 850 events nationally on an annual basis, compared to 300 events prior to the launch of the Big Ten Network.