The Big Ten is enjoying the fruits of a seven-year, $7 billion media deal signed in August 2022—one that will put the audience in front of national audiences on Fox, CBS and NBC for years to come.
However, it has come at a cost to the common fan. The conference has relegated a few football games (along with a glut of basketball games) to Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State all have taken turns playing streaming-only contests in 2023; No. 3 Ohio State is up Saturday afternoon against Purdue.
With a headache for a college football-crazy state looming, Ohio Sen. Bill DeMora told Hailey BeMiller of The Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he intended to introduce legislation addressing the practice.
“I’ve heard from a lot of folks that are pissed off that the local bar doesn’t have the game or they have to spend X amount of money to buy one football game on this Peacock network so they can watch Ohio State,” the Democrat from Columbus said.
Central to DeMora’s argument is a belief that the Buckeyes, nominally representative of a publicly funded institution, should be required to offer an over-the-air alternative to view streaming-only games.
“There are very few Buckeye fans bigger than me in all of the Ohio State universe,” DeMora said, “but certainly in the Legislature.”