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Big Ten Signs Six-Year Deal With Fox For Championship Game TV Rights

The Big Ten Conference has announced a six-year deal that will give Fox Sports the TV rights to the conference's championship game. The inaugural conference championship game will be played Dec. 3, 2011, in Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium.

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The Big Ten expanded to 12 teams this year, adding Nebraska and, more importantly, a conference championship game, ending any possibility of the Big Ten having "co-champions."

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FOX Sports, the nation’s top-rated network for sports for 13 consecutive years, is well-known for its coverage of some of the biggest sporting events in the country, including the Super Bowl, World Series and Daytona 500.  The network also served as the official television home of the Bowl Championship Series for the 2006-09 seasons and has broadcast the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic since 1999. The network will promote the Big Ten Football Championship Game as one of the premium sporting events in the country on all of its platforms, including FOXSports.com, FOX Sports Radio and during its coverage of major fall sports events, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball postseason.

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This comes as no surprise, as the very lucrative Big Ten Network was a joint venture between the conference and Fox Sports. Financial details have not yet been released, but many analysts believe the price paid was quite large.

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The Big Ten Conference is preparing to auction the TV rights to its new football championship game, a move that industry insiders say could fetch $15 million to $20 million a year.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.