CBS is reportedly on the verge of acquiring media rights for Big Ten football.
According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS is a front-runner to obtain rights for the conference's 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday game. FOX has agreed to a deal to preserve the noon broadcast, and NBC is expected to land the evening's primetime slot.
Despite splitting the rights with other networks, CBS will reportedly pay a huge amount for one weekly game. Per the New York Post's Andrew Marchand, that package will cost CBS approximately $350 million per year.
Many Twitter users expressed sticker shock over the exorbitant reported price tag.
Others have a more pressing concern about how the network will adjust its presentation to Big Ten football.
ESPN has televised Big Ten games for the last 40 years, but the network looks unlikely to retain any rights when its contract expires next year.
However, ESPN and ABC will poach SEC games from CBS starting in 2024. The 10-year deal reportedly worth $300 million per year now looks better in hindsight.
An arms race is unfolding to secure valuable live sports rights, and CBS apparently didn't want to risk getting left behind.