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ESPN President Sends Clear Message Following Big Ten Decision

A view inside ESPN The Party.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN)

ESPN's college football coverage will take a notable hit when losing Big Ten media rights next year.

The Big Ten agreed to a seven-year agreement with FOX, CBS, and NBC that will begin on July 1, 2023. However, ESPN president James Pitaro looked ahead to significant reinforcements that will later arrive.

Speaking at an Axios conference Wednesday, via the Morning Consult's Mark J. Burns, Pitaro said Disney will control most college football content when landing SEC games in 2024.

"Walking away from the Big Ten does not mean long term our college football inventory will diminish," Pitaro said.

ESPN struck a 10-year deal with the SEC that will award the network up to 15 games per year, including the SEC Championship Game. ABC will air an SEC game every Saturday, and ESPN+ will stream nonconference games.

CBS, which will televise a Big Ten football game at 3:30 p.m. ET when the new deal goes into place, currently has the SEC's media rights.

The media landscape is set for some major shakeups. Yet ESPN will remain a big player in college football. That includes maintaining rights to the College Football Playoff through the 2025 season.