Skip to content

Report: Big 12 media partners had concerns over BYU; UL, WVU perk up

BYU TCU Football

The Big 12’s decision to invite TCU as the league’s 10th member late last week came very suddenly after reports surfaced that the conference would look to expand in earnest. The move to acquire the Horned Frogs from the Big East was rumored to be a favorable one by many in the Big 12, but it left a question mark as to why TCU, which does not expand the conference’s geographical footprint or bring in any new TV sets, would be chosen over BYU. The Utah school was long considered to be the favorite for the Big 12 if/when the conference needed to replace Texas A&M, which will now join the SEC in 2012.

Last month, Chip Brown of reported that TCU”s stock was rising in the Big 12, and BYU’s was falling. Now, we may know why.

The Salt Lake Tribune writes that they have confirmed that the Big 12’s media partners — ABC/ESPN and FOX — were, at the very least, concerned over adding BYU, citing the school’s no-play-on-Sunday policy. An Oct. 7 report by the Tulsa World stated negotiations between BYU and the Big 12 were becoming complicated.

From the Tribune:

“The Tribune has learned that the television partners had concerns with BYU’s no-play-on-Sunday policy and how it might impact television plans as they related to televising non-football sports on Sundays — particularly the Big 12 conference basketball tournament championship game. That game has not been played on Sunday since 2008, but the television partners wanted to retain the Sunday option.

“Additionally, BYU — which left the Mountain West Conference for more national television exposure as a football independent — apparently wanted assurances from the Big 12 that it would appear on national television a minimum, unspecified, number of times per season. The Cougars also were said to want permission to show their football games not picked up by Big 12 television partners on their own television network, BYUtv, which is available in more than 60 million homes nationwide.”

So, for the immediate future, it doesn’t appear that BYU will be on the Big 12’s expansion radar — if the Big 12 decides to expand beyond 10 teams, of course. Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas has stated that the Big 12 plans to proceed as a 10-team league — Missouri included — for 2012.

If the Big 12 does expand, though, the absence of BYU means a greater focus could be placed on Louisville and West Virginia out of the Big East. Just a short while ago, reports surfaced that the Big East has extended invitations to Boise State, Air Force, Navy and UCF; Houston, SMU and Temple are also in the mix. Additionally, the Big East is looking to raise its exit fees to somewhere in the $15 million range.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: American Athletic Conference, Big 12 Conference, BYU Cougars, Independents, Louisville Cardinals, Rumor Mill, Top Posts, West Virginia Mountaineers
6 Responses to “Report: Big 12 media partners had concerns over BYU; UL, WVU perk up”
  1. burntorangehorn says: Oct 14, 2011 3:42 PM

    I had heard about the Sunday thing, and I had actually referenced it in a previous comment here on CFT. I’d heard that the conference was concerned about it, but I wasn’t sure why they couldn’t get around scheduling Sundays. I guess it makes a lot of sense that it’s the media partners who are concerned. My take, though, is that it wouldn’t require a whole lot from either side to reach a compromise, and that they should invite BYU anyway. They offer more in in their combination of athletics program quality, fanbase, additional market (Ogden-SLC-Sandy-Orem-Provo), academic reputation than TCU or any other Big 12 candidate out there. Louisville might be arguable, but I think the conference should add both, and one more if Mizzou leaves.

  2. bbeaman78 says: Oct 14, 2011 4:12 PM

    If you are not talking expansion, as in, the Big 12 is extending offers to school than who cares. Neinas is a dumb @$$ if he doesn’t get moving on WVU and Louisville before the BIG EAST raises exit fees.

    It will be interesting if this vote to raise exit passes even happens. UConn, Louisiville, and WVU all want out, so why would they further tie themselves to the dying conference.

    Also, the BCS committee should immediately revoke their AQ status. It is not just any 12 teams, it is quality programs. It sounds as if the BIG EAST thinks if they can get back to 12 with any school that they keep their AQ status, not the case. No one wants to see East Carolina in the Orange Bowl against Clemson, Va Tech, or FSU.

    Please can sanity return to the BCS and urgency show up for the BIG 12.

    EXPAND Big 12 now not next year. So frustrating, but what did we expect from Neinas who was commish of the BIG 8 and they thought that was awesome. Also his age mean he isn’t in any hurry to do anything. Please hire a Larry Scott clone for the BIG 12 ASAP!

  3. thefiesty1 says: Oct 14, 2011 4:24 PM

    We’re talking about football here. Playing college football doesn’t happen (very often) other than Labor Day weekend to start the season. BYU could forfeit a Sunday basketball game rather than play, after all one out of 32 games certainly won’t be missed.

    I think the real problem was demanding (kind of arrogant) a minimum number of games on tier one or two was what nixed their chance to join and expand the Big 12 footprint. Too bad, there are other fish in the sea. Nenius needs to go to 12 ASAP.

  4. fcmlefty1 says: Oct 14, 2011 4:41 PM

    @fiesty. Agreed 100%. They’d accomodate the sunday scheduling with no problems. Can’t accomodate BYU vs Kansas, for example, as a “prime time” type of game to fullfill any type of BYU mandated quota.

  5. Deb says: Oct 14, 2011 6:59 PM

    Sooooo ABC/ESPN and Fox have urged the Big 12 to discriminate against BYU because of their religious restrictions. Gotta love those networks and their tolerance.

  6. mhalt99 says: Oct 14, 2011 10:37 PM

    No one wants to see East Carolina in the Orange Bowl against Clemson, Va Tech, or FSU.

    Not so much in defense of East Carolina as much as it is for all up and coming programs but remember….It wasn’t too long ago that nobody knew who or wanted to see Boise State play, or Virginia Tech before that or even that all girls school Florida State before…….. We shouldn’t begrudge or bet against schools that are trying to get better and possibly build an elite program. At some point it gets boring being just USC vs Michigan vs Notre Dame vs Florida vs Alabama………….

    You can of course point to UConn and a couple of Big East blowouts in BCS games, but who is to say that in 15-20 years that UConn won’t become a force or for that matter any of the Conference USA teams that we have never heard of.

    As the NCAA has gotten more serious about rule violations some teams have creeped up. How great would football be if it was more like basketball and come fall it was a wide open race and a suitcase school like Temple could win the whole thing?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!