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Fox nearing deal to secure half of Big Ten primary TV rights, per report

The first domino appears set to fall in the Big Ten's next huge TV deal.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that had been speculated about for several months now, according to Sports Business Journal ($), Fox is nearing a deal to secure half of the Big Ten's first tier media rights. Though the terms are reportedly still flexible, Fox is expected to receive the rights to around 25 football games and 50 basketball games it will air on both Fox and Fox Sports 1 for over $250 million per year.

The Big Ten's primary media rights deal had been with ESPN for football (totaling a billion dollars over 10 years) and CBS for basketball (six years, $72 million). They expire at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Fox already had an existing relationship with the league as they own half of the Big Ten Network. The networks' talent often cross pollenate and appear on Fox properties in addition to BTN. As part of that arrangement, Fox has also had the TV rights to the Big Ten's football championship game and has since its inception.

With the other half of the TV rights still up for grabs, expect to see ESPN and NBC in play. Sports Business Journal had previously reported it seems unlikely at this time that CBS will increase their financial stake with the league.