The Big 12 issued a release earlier this afternoon which stated that “commissioner Dan Beebe will be available to the media via teleconference to provide an update on the latest news regarding the Big 12 Conference” at 4 p.m. ET. Based on the word coming from a writer for the Sports Business Journal, at least some of the latest news will involve a sizable new television contract.
The SBJ‘s John Ourand sent out a tweet shortly after the release stating that the Big 12 will announce a new multi-year deal with FOX Sports. The SBJ had reported last month that the two sides were putting the finishing touches on what would be a 13-year, $1.17 billion deal for the second-tier rights to football games; apparently, the deal that’s expected to be announced today will be somewhere in the neighborhood of the numbers first reported in March.
The new deal would represent an increase of roughly 350 percent over the previous contract. However, the previous deal was sliced up amongst 12 schools; with the departures of Colorado and Nebraska for other conferences, each member of the conference will get an even larger slice of the new financial pie. Not each member of the conference will get an equal slice, however, as Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M will receive a greater share than the other seven schools, a stipulation that resulted from their threat to bolt for the then-Pac-10 in the summer of 2010.
The conference’s first-tier TV rights run through 2016, with ESPN and ABC paying a total of $60 million annually.
That $150 million-per-year total falls well short of conference financial behemoths the Big Ten ($214 million) and SEC ($205 million), but is on par with the $155 million the ACC is expected to bring in with their newly-minted deal. All of the BcS leagues could be looking up to the Pac-12 in the very near future, however, as that conference is expected to sign new deals that would bring in a rumored $222 million annually.
FOX is also believed to be one of the two frontrunners for the Pac-12′s new TV package.
UPDATED 5:18 p.m. ET: The Big 12 confirmed their new 13-year deal with FOX during Beebe’s conference call, although the conference would not confirm the financial numbers being tossed around. Beebe did reveal that FOX would broadcast 40 games — nearly double the number aired in the previous deal — on their FSN regional networks as well as cable channel F/X. Beebe also hinted at the possibility of airing Big 12 games in primetime on the FOX network.
Here is Beebe’s official statement as provided by the conference via a press release:
“This landmark agreement positions the Conference with one of the best television arrangements in collegiate sports,” said Beebe. “It exceeds the benchmarks as we move forward with our 10 members by providing significant revenue growth, increased exposure while allowing institutions to retain selected rights. Most importantly, the agreement signifies the long-term commitment of the member institutions to one another. The Conference is delighted to continue its partnership with Fox and build on the momentum the FSN network has generated for the Big 12 brand through our first 15 years. We are excited about extending our presence on other FOX platforms, especially on FX, a top cable network.”
“This agreement extends our relationship with a valued long-time partner and ensures that Fox Sports will have an incredibly strong college football slate to offer viewers well into the next decade,” said Randy Freer, President of FOX Sports Networks.
“These 10 universities in the center of America stand together in their commitment,” University of Missouri Chancellor and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors Chairman Brady Deaton said. “The Big 12 will generate per member television revenue at competitive levels of college athletics, while at the same time increasing exposure for our programs on national and regional platforms, and providing for comprehensive institutional rights retention.”