Blog Entry

Big 12 nears new television deal

Posted on: March 14, 2011 12:50 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last year at this time the Big 12 seemed on the verge of death. Nebraska and Colorado were leaving, and there was a possibility that both Texas and Oklahoma were going to bolt to the new Pac-10 with Colorado. Instead, commissioner Dan Beebe was able to keep the league together by promising larger television revenues, and allowing schools to retain a large portion of their media rights. A decision which helped keep Texas in the fold, and allowed others to follow suit. Texas then used that decision to launch its own television network, and Oklahoma will soon be doing the same.

But what of the other eight remaining schools in the conference? What about their television deal? Well, according to the Sports Business Journal, the Big 12 is nearing a new television deal with Fox.
The Big 12 and Fox are close to finalizing a long-term deal that will pay the 10-team league more than $60 million a year, well up from the $20 million it now receives from its cable contract, industry sources say.
Fox, meanwhile, has been in discussions with eight of the league’s schools about establishing a conference-specific channel for a handful of football games, up to 60 basketball games and Olympic sports. The channel would not include programming from the University of Texas, which has partnered with ESPN on a new Longhorns channel, or the University of Oklahoma, which is planning its own channel, as well.
It's possible that the revenue could reach as much as $70 million a year. Which would still have the Big 12 behind the ACC, Big Ten and SEC as far as revenue is concerned, but is still a major improvement over where the league stands now. The Big 12's current deal with Fox runs through the 2011-2012 school year, but the new deal would run through 2022.

Of course, there is the question of what the new network will be called. Obviously, the logical choice would be the Big 12 Network, but considering that the network can't show Texas or Oklahoma games, no one is sure whether it can go that route just yet. More important than the name of the network, though, is what it could mean for scheduling within the league.

The new network would consist of third-tier games, and right now most of the third-tier games are non-conference games in September. Which would leave the programming slate pretty light in October or November. So it's likely that the Big 12 may begin playing conference games earlier in the schedule in order to spread out non-conference games to be televised later in the season.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2011 10:33 am

Big 12 nears new television deal

Please remind me - how much did Don Beebe promise the B12 (10) when he talked them down from breaking up last summer. Does this rumored deal match up to what he promised?

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2011 9:35 am

Big 12 nears new television deal

The article is not quite accurate.  Oklahoma and Texas may have their own nettwork, but will be severaly limited as to the number of games that they could televise.  The problem is not with OU and Texas.  It is with ESPN/ABC, who still retains the rights to the big games, just like they retain the rights to the Big 10 and Pac 12, even though the Big 10 has their own network and the Pac 12 is forming their own network.  ABC/ESPN retains the rights to all of the major games in those two conferences.  What happens is that after ABC/ESPN select a game to be broadcast, then the Big 10, Big 12, and Pac 12 network can opt to broadcast any of the remaining games on the schedule that week.  So it is not so much what the schools decide as what ABC/ESPN decide.  No one is going to be in a big hurry to televise Oklahoma at Kansas or Texas at Iowa State to begin with, so those are games that you would probably see on the Big 12 Network.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:23 am

Big 12 nears new television deal

One thing to doublecheck on this story:

I find it hard to believe that the Big-12 Network (or whatever they call it) couldn't broadcast Texas and Oklahoma games at all , since they would not control the rights to road games. If Texas is at Baylor, for example, then Baylor controls broadcast rights. So I think there'd still be plenty of Texas and Oklahoma games the new network could air -- just not home games for the two schools and (obviously) no Texas-Oklahoma match-ups.

To see what I'm talking about, note NBC and its Notre Dame contract. They air only UND home games, They don't have broadcast rights for the away games.

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:17 am

Big 12 nears new television deal

As long as they don't televise B12 games here...i could care less!

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:38 pm

Big 12 nears new television deal

So let's get this straight...

No Texas... No Oklahoma... and they get the 3rd tier games... and yet Fox is going to triple the payout?

Are the BS alarms going off for anybody else?

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2011 5:43 pm

Big 12 nears new television deal

I guess the reports of the imminent demise of the Big-12 were premature, as Mark Twain once said of reports of his demise?

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