What advertisers need to know about the Big Ten’s new media rights deal
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As the college football season begins, all eyes are on the Big Ten conference.

After announcing an agreement with Fox, CBS, and NBC last month – reportedly worth more than $8 billion over seven years – Big Ten is responsible for the largest rights deal ever for a college athletic conference. The agreement won’t yield much revenue until it begins in 2023. Still, advertisers are already strategizing around TV investment in future Big Ten games. 

What do advertisers need to know as the Big Ten enters a new media era? How will our industry invest in premium college football tv environments moving forward? EDO’s Head of Client Solutions, Laura Grover, shares her thoughts as advertisers plot their Big Ten TV investments.

Dramatic audience growth awaits.

The Big Ten’s new media deal, combined with the addition of competitive west coast teams, poises the conference for dramatic audience growth through 2030. Though the deal won’t kick in for a few years, we expect Big Ten viewership and ad engagement to grow slowly overall with increasingly more competitive games. As matchups become more engaging and impactful, ad performance will follow.

More consolidation? 

The realignment-driven consolidation of College Football powerhouses in the SEC and Big Ten could trigger even further consolidation in the NCAA. Sixteen universities will share more than $1 billion per year, thanks to the Big Ten deal. Other universities with top-tier football programs will be compelled to join – which would drive even greater ad engagement during games, benefitting both Big Ten teams and advertisers.

Consequential games will drive ad engagement. 

The most dramatic spikes in engagement will happen during consequential regular and postseason games, as we’ve seen across NCAA, NFL, NBA, and other live sports programming. Our data shows that the most competitive, high-impact games – college football included – drive the highest engagement on a per person basis, even when controlling for the larger audience sizes that we expect from the Big Ten teams.