CHICAGO (WCMH/AP) — The Big Ten is hiring former Major League Baseball executive Tony Petitti to be its next commissioner, the conference announced Wednesday. He will begin May 15.
Petitti replaces Kevin Warren who was named president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Bears. Petitti served as deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball and president and chief executive officer of MLB Network.
Prior to MLB, Petitti was the executive vice president of CBS Sports (2002-2008) and was an integral part of the network’s NFL coverage. He led the sports programming division and had added responsibility as executive producer for all CBS Sports telecasts
A 14-time National Sports Emmy Award winner, Petitti oversaw rights acquisition deals for a variety of sports leagues and collegiate and professional sports events, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, regular season men’s basketball, college football, NFL, PGA Tour, the Masters, U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and the Little League World Series, as well as leading in the creation of the Bowl Championship Series to determine college football’s national champion.
Petitti continues a trend of recent hires to lead the top conferences coming from outside college sports — like Warren, who worked for the Minnesota Vikings before taking over for Jim Delany and becoming the Big Ten’s first Black commissioner in 2019.
The Pac-12 subsequently hired George Kliavkoff, who was an executive for MGM Resorts International. Last year, the Big 12 hired Brett Yormark as commissioner after he had previously run Barclays Center in New York and worked for the Roc Nation talent agency.
He will serve as commissioner during a massive transition period for the Big Ten. This fall, the conference will begin its $7 billion media rights deals with NBC, CBS, and FOX to share the rights to football and basketball games. In 2024, the conference will expand to 16 schools with the additions of UCLA and Southern California.
You can watch Big Ten Saturday night football beginning this fall on NBC4.