Another part of Awful Announcing's awful analysis is assuming that the current ABC/ESPN deal isn't backloaded. Accordingly, they estimate that BTN/Fox/Other media pays out a third more than ABC/ESPN. Does that pass the sniff test? Not to me. Furthermore, they don't back out what Fox currently pays the Big Ten for the championship game, which presumably is included in their $250 mil/yr bid. $45 mil payout the first year is definitely not a slam dunk, and will rely on pulling a lot more from ESPN than their initial bid.So 45 million first year of new deal, or roughly 23 million in first tier TV rights.
To me it looks like 45 million is pretty much in the bag already with the Fox numbers, without any B1G network growth. If ESPN comes up with 1/2 of current 1st tier rights today (9 mil/2, +37 mil/2) then you are roughly at the 45 million. (I suspect these numbers lose a bit 1st year because the Fox contract is likely back loaded), but other numbers likely go up as well.
Which that much in the bank, I'm guessing Delany is thinking North of 50 mil is now possible & if ESPN is unwilling to come up with that kind of money, then the 2nd half of content gets split up between other players or held in ransom in the BTN until ESPN plays.
Just speculation, but with the "up to" in front of the Fox numbers I'm guessing the Fox number quoted is indeed for a premium 1/2, but B1G left themselves some room to make the 2nd half at least as attractive as the Fox portion, in which case Fox number goes down, but ESPN number will need to be in range of revised Fox number.
When was the last time you heard about a conference deal for television rights being leaked before it was signed? This seemed curious to me, especially since Delany is handling the negotiations directly. The only thing I can figure is that he's trying to show ABC/ESPN that Fox is serious. The Big Ten always gets good ratings. Getting prime Big Ten games is a nice lead-in for their other content. Can ABC/ESPN afford to let that content go to another network?