If you want to tell yourself the POTUS saved Big Ten football this season, knock yourself out. Personally, I’m going with the Big Ten Network.
Restoring the football season also bolsters the other major arm of the conference’s television revenue package, the Big Ten Network, which it operates in partnership with Fox. Without football (or fall sports more generally), BTN would have struggled badly for programming, and advertising as well.
In the conference’s current media setup, it pulls in $440 million from external partners, but also more than $100 million from BTN-specific revenue. Restarting football strengthens that revenue stream once again.
And all this puts advertising dollars back on the table as well. Crakes estimated the conference might see 60-70% of that revenue restored to what it would have been under normal circumstances.
The article estimates that if the season can be played, that’s worth somewhere in the range of $40-60 million to Indiana. That ain’t chump change, especially now.
Yeah, I think the conference made the mistake of thinking it was leading the charge to close down the season. But once it saw that several of its peers weren’t following, the it wasn’t going to walk away from millions it badly needs. The Big Ten isn’t a suicide pact.