Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Big Ten tops SEC

If you know me, you know that I'm a big fan of college football. And that I am an SEC fan as well. The school that my daughter attended is an SEC school, and I've been to some of their games since before she was born.

I'm talking about the University of Georgia, which is a team I've followed since childhood. I've also followed Georgia Tech, as my mother favored the Yellow Jackets over the Bulldogs in my childhood. And I've followed Georgia Southern, since football was restarted in the 1980s. But generally, people think of me as an SEC partisan, and I won't argue with that assessment at all.

I've enjoyed the domination the SEC has had in college football, winning 13 titles since 2000, and baseball, winning 9 titles since 2000.

The SEC was the first conference to hold a championship game, something every conference now does. It's almost as if the SEC runs college football. They don't, but they do carry some heavy influence. There are a lot of SEC haters out there.

Usually, you'll hear me singing the praises of the SEC. But today, I have to give props to the Big Ten. If you want to watch major college football without cable, and cheaply, the Big Ten is actually your best bet. Or will be after this season.

After the latest round of realignment, kicked off by last year's announcement that Oklahoma and Texas would leave the Big 12 for the SEC, some TV deals came up for renewal. The SEC is leaving CBS after this season, and going all in on ESPN. And the Big Ten takes advantage of that by signing a deal with CBS, Fox, and NBCUniversal.

The Big Ten on Thursday announced a new seven-year media rights deal with CBS, Fox and NBC that begins July 1, 2023, and runs through the 2029-30 season. The multiplatform agreement is believed to be the largest in the history of college athletics with industry sources putting the approximate value of the deal at a record $1.2 billion annually.

Spanning five linear networks, including the Big Ten Network and FS1, the deal positions the Big Ten with three premier windows to show college football games on broadcast television. Fox will air a featured "Big Noon" game on Saturdays at noon ET with CBS following at 3:30 p.m. and NBC wrapping up each week with "Big Ten Saturday Night" in primetime.

NBC will have games available on Peacock streaming service. CBS games will be available on Paramount+ as part of the live local CBS stream.

It'll still be easy to watch SEC games without cable. However, the cheapest streaming service that carries ESPN is Sling TV (Orange) which is $35/month. And, to add the SEC Network, it's another $11/month for the Sports Extra package.

The Big Ten is cheaper to watch, and is big time football. It's actually one of the better deals for having big time college football as a part of your Streaming Life.

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