KCTV-5, the local CBS affiliate here in Kansas City, is reporting that "high-level sources" have told the station that the head of a television network has told the Big 12 they would like to create the Big 12/Pac 10 Network and that the next TV deal would be lucrative enough to keep the Big 12 together.
Even though this report is coming from the same station that seemingly erroneously reported that Texas and Texas A&M were "petitioning" the Big 10 (they've backed off the word "petition" in their report since originally publishing the story), it involves money and makes sense.
We know conference expansion is all about the money so I'm willing to entertain this report.
The Big 12 currently has a deal with ABC that runs through 2016 and is worth $480 million. They've also got $78 million through 2012 with Fox Sports Network.
How does that compare to the other conferences? Not very good.
In 2008, the SEC signed a 12-year, $2.25 billion deal with ESPN/ABC and has a 15-year, $825 million agreement with CBS. Each SEC's school reportedly receives around $15-17 million per year from the television contracts.
The Big Ten has a 10-year, $1 billion deal with ESPN/ABC and a 25-year, $2.8 billion deal with the Big Ten Network. Fox Sports owns a 49 percent stake in the Big Ten network and would likely want a similar deal with the Big 12 and Pac-10, KCTV5's sources said.
We'll see how this one turns out.