One of the final pieces to the puzzle in the rebuilding of
the Big 12 Conference is in place – a landmark television deal.
stability of the Big 12 Conference is cemented," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a news release on Friday. "We are positioned with one of
the best media rights arrangements in collegiate sports, providing the
Conference and its members unprecedented revenue growth, and sports programming
over two networks."
Friday morning the conference office announced a new 13-year
television deal worth approximately 2.6 billion dollars with ESPN and the FOX
Sports Media Group.
The original deal with ESPN was set to expire in the
2015-2016 season, but now the new deal runs through the 2024-2025 season giving
the Big 12 some much-needed stability.
is an exciting day for the Big 12 Conference. Our future has never been
better,” Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt said in a news release on
Friday. “The national exposure as well as the stability that this new agreement
provides is unprecedented for our member schools."
only school out of the 10 member institutions to not have approved the grant of
rights is Tech according to Bowlsby during a teleconference call on Friday.
has to go through an official approval process with the board of regents
approving the grant of rights.
referred to the approval of the grant of rights as a formality and expects
Tech’s board of regents to approve it in the next week.
call by this reporter was made to the Board of Regents Office at Tech
requesting a statement, but was never responded to.
With the new deal comes unprecedented national television
coverage of Big 12 Football, as every home conference game starting this season
will be carried on a combination of ESPN, FOX or an institutional platform.
The first game to be carried in prime time by FOX Sports
will be on September 22, but Executive Vice President for Business Affairs of Fox Sports
Media Group Karen Brodkin said they have not decided
what game will be featured that night and the process is “fluid”.
Also the number of guaranteed full national football
telecasts, on a combination of ABC, FOX, ESPN and FX, will be increased to a
minimum of 25 per season.
Big 12 combines institutions known for excellence with passionate fan bases and
rich traditions," ESPN president John Skipper said in a news release on
Friday. "This agreement gives us long-term stability, more games and more
flexibility for when and how fans can see their favorite teams."
football coverage does not end there, every season through 2015 ABC/ESPN will
carry 19 games, then increases that to 23 per season starting in 2016 with
13-15 of those games getting full national exposure.
the deal FOX is also guaranteed 38 games, with six per season on FOX broadcast
and six on a national cable outlet.
very pleased to continue our long-running relationship with the Big 12, clearly
one of the most successful and esteemed collegiate athletic conferences in
America," Randy Freer, Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group said
in a news release on Friday. "This expanded partnership gives FSMG several
Big 12 football games to showcase as part of our first-ever over-the air
schedule on FOX, while also providing a substantial number of games for our
other platforms. It’s a win-win for everyone concerned."
Also there will be a minimum of four Thursday games,
including Labor Day weekend and Thanksgiving, carried each season and also
maximum of four games slated for an 8:15 p.m. kickoff.
With the late kickoff time, no program will do that more
than twice in a season, host only once and not have 8:15 p.m. starts on
back-to-back weekends either.
Not only is football in the deal, but also Big 12
ESPN is reportedly going to carry 100-105 games per season,
with 43 of those on ESPN and ESPN2, or sublicense those to ABC, CBS or FOX,
including 30 intra-conference games.
“It also solidifies and specifically details the games that
will be retained by the member institutions,” ESPN Senior Vice President for
College Sports Programming Burke Magnus said during the Big 12 Teleconference
on Friday. “We’ve drawn the lines brighter, we’ve expanded our inventory and
we’ve expanded the ability to distribute on various platforms. College
basketball, like football, really, really important to our company and having
the Big 12 be a key part of that both on a national level and through regional
syndication of Big 12 Network and their position on Big Monday for that matter,
also solidified for the next 13 years.
“Really important to us, and really happy this is
There will also be up to 40 games carried on ESPNU and up to
six games on ESPN3.com.
Also 31 women’s basketball games will be aired each season
on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or FOX Sports Media Group platforms.
With that kind of exposure for basketball, Bowlsby is
excited about the immediate impact of the new deal on basketball.
“It affords us greater national broadcast opportunities and
then solidifies the third-tier opportunities that can be activated on a local basis,”
he said. “We expect that this gives us unprecedented exposure and structurally
a lot of stability going forward.”