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Things looking up for Big 12 as presidents reportedly agree to TV deal

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Believe it or not, the Big 12 appears to be on the upswing.

Though the deal has not been signed, the Big 12′s member presidents have verbally agreed to a TV deal worth a combined $2.6 billion with ESPN and FOX, CBSSports is reporting. Word of the deal first came on March 13 and was reported by both CBS and the Sports Business Journal

(For what it’s worth, the SBJ reported the deal was worth $2.5 billion. The point is the deal, when official, will place the Big 12 among the richest conferences in college athletics.) 

The new contract would extend the league’s current deal with ESPN, which runs through 2016, to 2025 to “sync up” with the conference’s second-tier rights rights agreement with FOX, signed in 2011. Also expected to be announced with the deal is an extension of the grant of rights through the life of the contracts. The league previously voted to a grant of rights for six years.

Last week, the Big 12 announced the hiring of Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby. It would be nothing less than a stunner if this TV deal didn’t go through as planned given that development.

Not bad for a conference on the verge of extinction two years in a row.

With BCS qualifying status out the window beginning in 2014, the TV deal becomes the primary (if it wasn’t already) metric of conference stability. Based on that, the Big 12 is looking pretty good these days.

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16 Responses to “Things looking up for Big 12 as presidents reportedly agree to TV deal”
  1. mountaineer50415 says: May 7, 2012 5:54 PM

    I have been hoping to see this every day. Really glad it has finially come back up. Just wish everyone would sign on the dotted line.

  2. coolhorn says: May 7, 2012 6:22 PM

    This is a very nice move for a conference everybody believed was dead in the water less than a year ago.

    Those people that were the biggest Big XII critics, and critics of a couple of the largest schools in the conference, are no longer members. There are still some rough edges to be smoothed out, but going forward, the Big XII is going to be a very good conference to be in, especially for the original members that DIDN’T take the back door out.

    The next item on the agenda is expansion. The conference won’t stay at ten teams, and there are some very interesting possibilities out there for teams eleven and twelve…and beyond.

    Oh, by the way, for those who’ve said UT wants to run the conference…that couldn’t be further from the truth. No one is happier about the new stability, and the new commissioner, than Longhorn officials. UT is good for the Big XII, and a new, stronger, more stable Big XII is definitely good for the Horns. I was one who, a year or two ago, was pushing for a move to the PAC. No more. The Big XII is a great place to be…for EVERY team in it, or soon to be.

  3. deucez2 says: May 7, 2012 8:57 PM

    FSU and Clemson, come on down… Watch out for more expansion.

  4. normtide says: May 7, 2012 9:09 PM

    The big difference between this year and the last two is the fact that UT and OU realized they were not as sought after as they thought. The PAC turning them down was the best thing that could happen for the BIG12. In my personal rankings, the 12 are easily the #2 league right now. I would like to see the grant of rights become permanent before I claim stability.

  5. drummerhoff says: May 7, 2012 9:27 PM

    next developments include the ACC’s TV deal and the SEC’s TV deal … and then realignment comes to its end.

  6. deucez2 says: May 7, 2012 9:55 PM

    @normtide

    I’m not sure you’re remembering how the realignment talks went last year. OU was petitioning the PAC12 for membership but Larry Scott wouldn’t take them without Texas. Now the year prior to last, Texas was seriously considering moving over to the PAC but decided against it for what it thought was long term stability of the Big12 until A&M took their ball to another playground (have fun with those irrational idiots in the SEC by the way). Texas is one of the largest and most valuable (top 3) brands in college football and any conference would gladly take them if the deal made sense. They get their way too often in the B12 to leave currently.

  7. coolhorn says: May 7, 2012 10:43 PM

    Interesting the number of thumbs down to any post here that mentions the University of Texas…must be quite a few fans of the agricultural college checking out the thread. I wouldn’t expect much comment from them, because they don’t have a dog in the Big XII hunt after all, now that they’re headed to the confederacy.

    Reference who turned who down last year…the PAC wanted OU AND UT, and was willing to take Tech and Ok. State with the two. The PAC was NOT willing to take OU and Ok. State minus UT, and UT has insisted all along that its’ first preference is to stay with the Big XII.

    Bottom line…the Big XII has ten relatively happy members now, a new TV contract that keeps the wolf away from everybody’s door, and more stability than the conference has had since it was formed. The Big XII is on its’ way to becoming a destination conference, rather than the road kill it looked like less than a year ago.

  8. normtide says: May 7, 2012 11:09 PM

    Maybe I remember it wrong, but I thought the PAC’s offical stance was not wanting to expand again so quickly. The unoffical word was that the PAC AD’s did not to deal with Texas’ heavy hand. I remember OU complaining about Texas, and their bid to the PAC was to get away from Texas. I could be confused, and rumours run amok during expansion. So, again, I could be wrong. But, you have to agree that the failed bid to escape (for lack of a better word) really drove stability.

    As for the thumbs down, thats a good thing. The power schools are not liked, because they are power schools. Any post praising BSU get instant thumbs up. Thats sports.

  9. mntn33r says: May 7, 2012 11:20 PM

    Here’s hoping the Big 12 invites:

    11. Florida State
    12. Clemson
    13. Maryland
    14. Cincinnati

    All have better football resumes than Louisville. Then:

    15. Anyone but Louisville

    16. Anyone but Louisville

  10. frug says: May 7, 2012 11:52 PM

    What happened to the OU/OSU to the PAC deal is that Larry Scott backed the deal but the conference presidents overruled them. All the PAC schools wanted maximum exposure in LA and adding the Oklahoma schools would have meant an end to annual LA trips for Colorado, Utah, Arizona, AZU, Cal and Stanford (a 14 team conference would have required a zipper alignment and an end to USC-Cal and UCLA-Stanford as annual games). They were willing to take reduced LA exposure if netted Texas, but not for the Oklahoma schools alone.

  11. coolhorn says: May 8, 2012 1:34 AM

    What Frug says makes a lot of sense. If UT, OU, OSU, and Tech had joined up with the PAC, most likely, they would have been in an inland division with ‘Zona, ‘Zona State, Utah, and Colorado. If that were the case, none of those eight schools would see the coastal schools individually all that often. The PAC would have been, in essence, two separate conferences welded together, each very different from the other. I don’t think UT was ever all that comfortable with that arrangement, and I know the Horns weren’t willing to bend much, if at all, on the Longhorn Network…thus, the preference to stay in a viable Big XII.

  12. foreverlsu says: May 8, 2012 10:03 AM

    Coolhorn, spin it however you like to make UT look good but the Big 12 almost completely crumbled solely because of the arrogance of UT and the Longhorn network; any instability of the conference was solely created by the University of Texas. I have no problem with UT making the best deal possible for itself don’t come here blaming aTm and Nebraska.

  13. normtide says: May 8, 2012 10:22 AM

    The fact remains, UT and OU was turned down by the PAC. The reasons prob included recruiting, but it also included Texas being Texas. We all see what they did to the 12, and the PAC wanted no part of it. The 12 is viable, I think they have not fully tapped what they can do. But, like I stated before, I want to see the grant of rights made full and forever before I say the storm has passed. OU was on the cusp was leaving UT just like ATM did, but they were turned down, while ATM was not. For all Texas’ power, what has it really got them? OU has been the class of the 12.

  14. coolhorn says: May 8, 2012 10:35 AM

    I prefer to leave the spin to the SEC and their two newest members. As for blaming agricultural? There are very few within the Longhorn community that aren’t happy to see the ags move on. We recognize that they did what they felt they had to do in jumping to the SEC, no matter what reasoning process was used in College Station to reach that conclusion.

    There is a misperception about UT arrogance. It’s not something anyone heard much about before UT and ESPN went into business with each other with the Longhorn Network. I don’t think I’m being naive when I say I doubt there is a single university anywhere that would have said no to a similar deal with ESPN. I will concede that every university that’s successful on the field and makes a lot of money is accused of arrogance. Notre Dame has been called arrogant, and so has Michigan, Ohio State, ‘Bama, USC…it goes with the territory, but saying it doesn’t make it so.

    UT has consistently indicated a desire to stay in the Big XII, and has done what it can to make the conference a good one for each of the members. UT has backed off of controversial proposals to carry high school athletics and an extra Longhorn football game on the Longhorn Network, because of concerns that it would give the Horns a recruiting advantage. UT, if it indicated any interest in realigning its’ conference affiliation, would be courted by every conference out there, but barring a complete collapse of the Big XII, UT is right where it wants to be.

    None of this is spin, and the University of Texas doesn’t need me to defend it. We’re happy for the ags and Tigers in their new conference, AND we’re happy that the Big XII appears headed for a new era of prosperity and stability for ALL of its’ members. Where’s the arrogance in that?

  15. mountaineer50415 says: May 8, 2012 11:07 AM

    Where was it mentioned that FSU, Clemson, and Maryland wanted to be in the Big 12? Why would anyone want Maryland? Who consideres Maryland better than Louisville?
    If they wish to come I think the ADes should say so. Not the fans. I agree that FSU and Clemson would make a good conference add, I just have not heard they wish to come. I have heard that Cincinnati would like to come, but not recently.

  16. coolhorn says: May 8, 2012 11:17 AM

    I think it’s gonna be a while yet before ANY team is identified as a possible expansion target.

    The new commissioner, Bob Bowlsby, hasn’t even moved into his Dallas office yet, and has said that there is no consensus among Big XII AD’s about how many, if any, teams the conference should add. Bowlsby has indicated he intends to visit with all member schools on several topics, including expansion.

    There have been conversations about Florida State, Clemson, and perhaps one or two other ACC teams to the Big XII, but internet speculation is all there’s been so far. Louisville and BYU have, at one time or another, indicated a willingness to join the Big XII, but there are issues that would need to be resolved before things go any further with those two schools. Nobody I know from the UT side of things has mentioned Maryland.

    Bottom line…the Big XII may consider expansion, maybe even before the end of the year. Exactly how much expansion, and who would be involved, is a long way from being decided. Anything you hear until you hear something from Bob Bowlsby is just speculation.

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