The Big 12 conference is nearing a $60 million cable TV deal with FOX, according to Michael Smith and John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.
The current TV agreement calls for slightly under $20 million per year so this would be a significant jump, as conference commissioner Dan Beebe predicted last summer in the midst of conference realignment.We figured a new deal like this was coming and Beebe predicted last summer it would be between $60-70 million.
The report suggests the deal could go for as long as 10 years to 2022.
The report also states that FOX has talked with Kansas, Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech about establishing a Big 12 channel that would air a few football games, up to 60 basketball games as well as Olympic sports . Texas has their own deal with ESPN, and Oklahoma wants their own as well, so those two wouldn't be included.
If they went through with the channel, there'd be a few things that would have to be figured out. First, the conference schedule may have to be tweaked to spread non-conference games throughout the entire season. Second, they would need to determine how they would be distributed. As SBJ points out, if Texas was playing Texas A&M, who gets the rights to that game and can it be aired on both channels? Third, we're not sure what the name would be because only eight of the remaining 10 Big 12 teams would be involved.
This sounds like the next logical step for the Big 12 to get them on par with other conferences. The FOX deal, as well as the existing ABC/ESPN deal, would bring in a combined $130 million per year for all 10 teams, which is about $25 million behind the ACC's deal with ESPN.