The Big Ten will begin playing football games on Friday nights beginning with the 2017 season, commissioner Jim Delaney announced on Wednesday.
The league will begin playing a package of six prime-time Friday games in 2017 as part of their new agreement with ESPN/ABC.
According to the Big Ten Network, the games will likely be televised by an ESPN network, FOX, or FS1. No Friday night games will appear on BTN.
All six Friday night games will be played in September and October, and two of those games in 2017 will be on Friday night of Labor Day weekend, according to Big Ten senior associate commissioner for television administration Mark Rudner.
“We saw the need to have more windows because there are more games being televised nationally each week,” said Rudner. “If you look at other conferences like the Pac-12 and the ACC and even the Ivy League, they have had a clear presence on Friday night. In fact, over the last three years, each of those conferences has had double-digit games on Friday nights.”
Additionally, commissioner Jim Delany said that the six games will be split evenly between non-conference and conference games and that no team will play on Friday night more than two times.
A few schools have balked at hosting games on Friday nights. Ohio State and Penn State are expected to pass, while Michigan has reportedly already said no.
The Big Ten previously released their football schedules for the 2017 season. According to the Chicago-Tribune, the Friday night games for that season “will be revealed this week, as early as Wednesday afternoon.”