Dec. 23, 2004
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The Big Ten Conference announced a multi-year agreement with CBS Sports today, as the Conference office extended the network’s broadcast rights for conference basketball games through the 2009-10 campaign. Terms of the contract extension were not disclosed.
“The Big Ten Conference is pleased to extend our affiliation with CBS Sports,” said Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. “CBS has provided unprecedented exposure for the Big Ten since 1991 and given our student-athletes and coaches an opportunity to compete on a weekly basis on the national stage.”
“The Big Ten Conference is pleased to extend our affiliation with CBS Sports. CBS has provided unprecedented exposure for the Big Ten since 1991 and given our student-athletes and coaches an opportunity to compete on a weekly basis on the national stage.”
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany
“We are delighted to continue our 14-year association with the Big Ten, one of the premier conferences in the country,” said CBS Sports President Sean McManus. “This agreement assures that Big Ten basketball will remain a central component of CBS Sports’ schedule.”
“You go to any arena in the Big Ten and watch a game, it’s pulsating. The intensity is always special,” said Jim Nantz, CBS Sports’ lead college basketball announcer. “I can’t imagine the network of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship not having a relationship like this with the Big Ten.”
The new agreement, which begins during the 2005-06 campaign, guarantees Big Ten teams 26 appearances per season with the possibility of up to 30 appearances beginning with the 2008-09 season. That total includes the semifinals and championship game of the annual Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, which have been broadcast by CBS every year since the inaugural event in 1998 and have ranked among the network’s highest-rated games each season. In addition, CBS will have the opportunity to select a wildcard game on each of the final three weekends of Big Ten play starting with the 2007-08 campaign. Additional appearances by Big Ten women’s basketball teams will also be featured on CBS.
The Big Ten, which features the No. 1 team in the country in Illinois, is currently ranked second among all men’s basketball conferences and boasts the most-challenging schedule in the country according to the latest RPI Report. The Big Ten has also produced a long history of NCAA Championship success and is the only league to rank among the top two conferences in appearances, victories, Final Fours and national titles. The Conference is celebrating the 100th season of men’s basketball with the centennial year of League play set to begin on Wednesday, January 5, 2005. Big Ten teams are slated to have more national exposure than ever before during the current season, as all 88 Big Ten contests and no fewer than 68 non-conference games are scheduled to be televised.
CBS Sports, which will present coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship for the 24th consecutive year in 2005, boasts the most comprehensive regular-season college basketball schedule on network television. CBS has been one of the homes for Big Ten men’s basketball since the 1991-92 campaign, as the League annually receives more national exposure on CBS than any other conference with 278 total appearances from 1991-92 through this season.