This afternoon Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe held a teleconference to discuss the new television deal that has been in the works between the Big 12 Conference and Fox Sports. The new deal, which is now final, consists of a 13 year agreement beginning with the 2012 football calendar and the agreement will run for 13 years providing exclusive cable rights to Fox Sports.
Since the departure of Colorado and Nebraska last fall and what seemed to be an eleventh hour save by the remaining 10 schools, questions have circled around what Beebe and those remaining 10 schools would command as a conference since the existing television contract was nearing its completion. As a recap the current and soon to be expiring Fox Sports deal awards the Fox networks the rights to 20 Big 12 Conference football games; 20 games that Fox Sports pays the conference approximately $20 million per year for the rights.
The new deal which has been in the works for sometime reportedly increases that amount by 350% awarding the conference $90 million while Fox Sports gains the rights to 40 Conference football games and also holds digital and mobile rights as well as cable exclusivity to these 40 Conference games.
The deal also assures that EVERY Big 12 home football game will be broadcast on either Fox Sports, ABC, ESPN or a school specific network(Longhorn Network) beginning with the 2012 football season.
An oversimplification: Old Deal $20 Mil / 12 Teams = $1.66 Million (Reported)New Deal $90 Mil / 10 Teams = $9 Million PER YEAR + Television Exposure for EVERY BIG 12 HOME GAME.
That seems like a win for all the schools involved and would seem to put to bed any remaining suspicion surrounding the stability of the conference and further defections in the near term. From a financial standpoint the the conference is now in a competitive position on a National landscape and the 10 schools involved don't stand to gain much by expanding and splitting the pie either. What that means is the Big 12 is likely set for the time being and the commitment by those in the conference seems much more certain.
The presidents and chancellors of the 10 member institutions last summer made public statements that committed their institutions unequivocally and unconditionally long-term to the Conference. Their unanimous vote to approve this binding long-term contract is an explicit demonstration of that commitment. This Conference has never been stronger and the dedication of the member institutions to one another never deeper. The Big 12 is a vibrant conference with a tremendously bright future. - Dan Beebe