The annual showdown between Ohio State and Michigan at noon on ABC is officially no more. At least for the foreseeable future.
The Game will officially be broadcasted on FOX this fall, as Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh meet for the third time on the gridiron on Nov. 25 at Michigan Stadium. FOX confirmed the news during its upfronts on Monday.
This will be the first time ever FOX gets to show college football's greatest rivalry since the network's inception in October 1986.
This is a long time coming after FOX paid up last June to own the majority of the Big Ten's broadcasting rights while ESPN lagged behind and lost. FOX shelled out the dough (about $240 million per year for the next six) to get majority ownership of the broadcast rights and now has first dibs on what games to show on its networks (FOX also owns 51 percent of Big Ten Network). ESPN paid the Big Ten a reported $190 million per year for the next six seasons for essentially half of the conference's media rights pie. The new deal begins during the 2017-18 academic calendar.
FOX interviewed both Harbaugh and Meyer to promote the matchup on its network on Monday, according to Awful Announcing. Additionally, it scrolled other big time contests across the screen, as seen below.
Looks like FOX is officially getting the Michigan-Ohio State game this year & some other huge matchups. pic.twitter.com/EPC4atvYbz— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) May 15, 2017
Other notable games set for the network this fall:
- Penn State at Ohio State on Oct. 28;
- Notre Dame at Michigan State on Sept. 23;
- Oklahoma at Oklahoma State on Nov. 4; and
- Texas at USC on Sept. 16.
Last year's version of Harbaugh-Meyer drew an absurd 10.4 overnight rating on ABC when the Buckeyes beat Michigan 30-24 in double overtime. Curtis Samuel's 15-yard touchdown run on the game's final play iced the win for Ohio State. Michigan leads the all-time series 58-48-6.
No word on if this means Gus Johnson will serve as play-by-play commentator for The Game moving forward. Prayers up.