clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Where each conference’s TV deal stands heading into the fall

Let’s break it all down.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

This past week, the Big Ten reportedly dropped ESPN as one of its television partners and brought CBS and NBC into the mix with FOX Sports. Many assume some combination of Peacock TV and Paramount+ will also be added to the mix for streaming partners.

But the best games of the day will be set up very similarly to the NFL. FOX will get the Noon ET kickoff. Then Big Ten fans would switch to CBS for a 3:30 p.m. ET game. Finally, you’d wrap up with a primetime game on NBC. It will be interesting to see how that coincides with any night games for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who have a deal with NBC as well.

All in all, it was a pretty big surprise as the Michigan Wolverines and other programs from the conference had been playing on ESPN for the last 40 seasons. After all the changes, let’s see where each conference currently calls home for their television rights.


Even though the four-letter network lost the Big Ten, they still have plenty to go around and that starts alphabetically with the American Athletic Conference. Back in 2019, the AAC reached a 12-year, and nearly $1 billion dollar contract with ESPN. However, a majority of the games are played on ESPN+ instead of broadcast television. That is mostly because of the network’s overall control over college football which we will see more of down the line.


The Atlantic Coastal Conference is also on ESPN. In 2016, a new 20-year deal began worth $4.8 billion. Each team in the conference takes home about $17 million a season with the 14 programs that currently reside in the ACC.

Big 12

After losing Oklahoma and Texas in 2025, the conference will likely take a hit in their television deal that ends in the same year. The Big 12 currently is set up very similarly to the Big Ten with broadcast rights going to FOX and ESPN. The current deal started in 2015 and was for $2 billion. Expectations are not going to be as high once the powerhouses depart.

Conference USA

A combination of Stadium, Facebook, ESPN+ and CBS Sports Network have the broadcast rights for C-USA until the end of the 2023 season. They are currently on the hunt for a new deal where I’m sure they would like to be closer to the AAC’s standards.


Through 2022-23, the Mid-American Conference will be on display via the CBS Sports Network. But the majority of the MACtion is on ESPN on weeknight matchups and on ESPN+ through 2026.

Mountain West

The Mountain West beat the Big Ten to the punch in cutting ESPN loose. In 2020, they added FOX as a partner while maintaining their relationship with CBS Sports. The deal runs through 2026 and the league is paid about $270 million.


On brand with the Big 12, USC and UCLA will depart for the Big Ten as soon as the TV deal ends in 2024. A 12-year, $3 billion contract with FOX and ESPN is set to expire, and many people are questioning where they will be headed without two of their historic programs.


The SEC is the main reason ESPN was okay parting ways with the Big Ten. Starting in 2024, ESPN will be the exclusive carrier for SEC football and men’s basketball. CBS was desperate to fill the void, and it appears the Big Ten will fill that.

Sun Belt

If you are a mid-major, you probably have a relationship with ESPN. The Sun Belt announced a deal with ESPN in 2020 that runs through 2031. There’s plenty of college football on that ESPN+ app.

College Football Playoff

So here is what it really comes down to. Right now, ESPN pays the College Football Playoff $470 million annually to broadcast the four-team playoff. That deal expires in 2026. Everyone who isn’t associated with ESPN (like the Big Ten and Notre Dame) are going to fight hard for other networks to get some of the games. Maybe even a rotation like what currently happens with the Super Bowl.

Many are concerned ESPN has too much power over college football, as nearly every conference has ties to the network. Many have feared the monopoly ESPN has hurts those who are not associated with it, and that may even dip into the rankings for the College Football Playoff.

As the Big Ten goes elsewhere, that has to be the conference's biggest fear. Kevin Warren and others will fight hard for potential expansion and movement away from just ABC and ESPN for the playoffs.

In total, here is what every major broadcast network has access to:


  • College Football Playoff
  • SEC (Exclusively in 2024)
  • Big Ten (reportedly ends in 2023)
  • ACC
  • Big 12 (ends in 2025)
  • Pac-12 (ends in 2024)
  • AAC
  • Sun Belt
  • Mountain West
  • MAC
  • C-USA (ends in 2023)


  • SEC (ends in 2023)
  • Big Ten (reportedly, starting in 2024)
  • C-USA (ends in 2023)
  • MAC
  • Mountain West


  • Big Ten (reportedly extending in new deal)
  • Big 12 (ends in 2025)
  • PAC-12 (Ends in 2024)


  • Notre Dame (ends in 2025)
  • Big Ten (reportedly starting in 2024)

Basically, ESPN is fine with keeping all they have on top of becoming the exclusive broadcasters for the SEC.

Meanwhile, CBS is replacing the SEC with the Big Ten in that Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET spot while also keeping some Group of 5 games. FOX remains strong with the Big Ten and could re-up deals with the depleted Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences. Then, NBC is covering their own butts in case Notre Dame jumps ship in 2025 by bringing in primetime matchups with the Big Ten starting in 2024. Surely, they are hopeful Notre Dame just joins the Big Ten and stays on their network in a larger deal.