Big Ten

Report: Rest of Big Ten media rights go to ESPN for $1.14 billion


Report: Rest of Big Ten media rights go to ESPN for $1.14 billion


Big paydays are no rarity in the Big Ten, but the conference's latest reported media rights deals are giving new meaning to "perks of membership."

According to a Monday morning report from the Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, ESPN will shell out $1.14 billion over six years for the second half of the Big Ten's media rights package, meaning the conference's average media rights payout will almost triple.

In April, Fox was reported to have purchased the first half of the package, which begins after the upcoming college basketball season concludes, for an average of $240 million a year.

Additionally, CBS re-upped its basketball deal with the Big Ten, meaning another $10 million a year. All in all, between three deals with three networks for the media rights to football and men's basketball games, the conference will bring in $2.64 billion over the next six years.

And the length of those deals is significant, as well, as the conference will get to do this all over again just six years from now.

According to Ourand, the terms of the new deals with Fox and ESPN include roughly 25 football games and 50 basketball games for each network. Big Ten Network (of which Fox owns 51 percent) will still show its typical allotment of games, as well.

Fox will carry the Big Ten Championship Game every year for the next six years, and Fox will have "game selection advantages" over ESPN, meaning the biggest games will go to Fox (see: Michigan-Ohio State).

From Ourand:

Before each season, the networks will pick the weeks where they get first choice of games. Fox will have the first pick every year; ESPN will have the second; Fox will have the third, and so on.

Also, fewer Big Ten games will be shown on ESPN U, with most ESPN games airing on ABC, ESPN and ESPN 2.

CBS will continue to air the semifinals and title game of the Big Ten Tournament.

The massive amount of money is just added benefit for the conference's 14 schools, which will see a big infusion of cash.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.