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REPORT: Big Ten Conference, FOX nearing massive 6-year, $1.5 billion TV rights deal

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$1.5 billion for half the package? $1.5 billion for half the package!

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

According to the Sports Business Journal's John Ourland, the Big Ten is reportedly nearing a 6-year, $1.5 billion agreement (!) with FOX that would grant the network half (!!) of the conference's broadcasting rights.

In his story Ourand details that, while this deal is flexible due to ongoing negotiations for the other portion, FOX will likely receive the rights for 25 football games and 50 basketball games starting in 2017; those events would be divided between the Fox Network and FS1.

ESPN, CBS, NBC, and Turner will continue to bid on the second half of the package, and it's possible the conference may elect to split things further to allow for additional coverage from multiple networks.

The Big Ten's current broadcasting deals with ESPN (10-years, $1 billion) and CBS (6-years, $72 million) are set to expire next Spring.

What does this mean for the Big Ten?

MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY.

What does this mean for Big Ten (student) athletes

STILL NO MONEY. STILL NO MONEY. STILL NO MONEY.

What does this mean for Illinois?

MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY.