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Reports: ESPN Poised to reduce Big Ten Rights

ESPN could possibly be on the brink of losing its broadcast rights to Big Ten football and basketball games.

The conferences rights negotiations are nearing a conclusion, and CBS and NBC will be the frontrunners to get the conferences remaining inventory, in accordance with Sports Business Journals John Ourand. An agreement could possibly be reached when the end of the week.

Fox Sports already has decided to a package which includes a football game in its noon ET time slot, plus games on Fox Sports 1 and Big Ten Network, a channel where Fox owns a 60% stake, in accordance with Ourand.

CBS and NBC are thinking about purchasing rights to football games in the 3: 30 ET window and prime time. Amazon also offers submitted a bid, but CBS and NBC will be the frontrunners, in accordance with Ourand.

CBS is likely to offer $350 million for the 3: 30 p.m. ET window, in accordance with Andrew Marchand of the NY Post.

Meantime, a large Ten source tells Sports Illustrateds Pat Forde that no announcement is imminent.

All having said that, ESPN could reconsider and raise its bid. The network continues to be negotiating with the conference, in accordance with Ourand.

ESPN consummated its first rights agreement with the Big Ten in 1982 and contains broadcast the conferences games without interruption since. Even though the network loses its Big Ten rights, it might still carry some nonconference games involving Big Ten teams, according to the opposing teams rights.

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