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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Big 12 Could Land a Bigger Media Rights Deal

  • The Big 12's current media contract doesn't expire until after the 2024-2025 academic year.
  • The conference could reportedly reach a new deal "within a matter of weeks."
Big-12
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12’s media rights contract with ESPN and Fox doesn’t expire until after the 2024-25 academic year, but the conference is reportedly already close to a new deal.

An agreement with the broadcasters could be in place “within a matter of weeks,” according to a CBS Sports report.

The current deal contributes an annual $43 million to each school in the conference, including revenue from NCAA basketball tournaments and bowl games. Despite Texas and Oklahoma leaving for the SEC in 2025, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said the new deal could surpass the current figure because he’s “a good salesman.”

  • Former commissioner Bob Bowlsby claimed the loss of the schools would decrease the conference’s value by 50%.
  • Yormark cited higher ticket prices for the Big 12 tournament as a way to boost revenue.
  • The Big 12 is adding BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF in 2025.

Conference Colleagues

Securing a deal now could put the Big 12 in more favorable broadcasting windows than the Pac-12, which is currently on the open market. Its deal expires in 2024.

But the numbers for either of the conferences’ media rights are still likely to lag behind the Big Ten when its new deal with NBC, Fox, and CBS — expected to pay out $75 million-$80 million annually per school —  begins in 2023.

If a deal isn’t made soon, “there is the option to wait 16 months” for the formal negotiating window to begin, Yormark said.

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