The Big 12 Basketball Conference got great news at the end of last week, as they signed a mega contract with ABC/ESPN and Fox to a 13-year media rights deal. All in all, the deal is worth over $2.5 billion and $200 million per year. It also aides each school with nearly $20 million per institute.
The deal has been said to run through the 2024-2025 season. ABC/ESPN and FOX will take the football portion of the deal, ABC/ESPN are the exclusive provider for Big 12 basketball.
The commissioner of the Big 12 Bob Bowlsby had this to say about the contract: “The stability of the Big 12 Conference is cemented. We are positioned with one of the best media rights arrangements in collegiate sports, providing the conference and its member’s unprecedented revenue growth, and sports programming over two networks.”
The deal also includes a “grant of rights” agreement. What this means to the schools of the Big 12 is: If they leave the conference within the next 13 years, they will remain with the Big 12 in regards to media rights, including their revenue. This is a big lift for the stability of the conference. The league was on the verge of losing Texas and Oklahoma, but were able to garner them back in. After losing Missouri and Texas A&M, the league quickly brought TCU and West Virginia into the mix to remain a viable conference.
In regards to the money of $20 million per school, that is just a bit lower than the Pac-12. The Pac-12 schools receive $21 million per school. The deal is just about the same as the schools in the Big 10 receive. The deal for the Big 12 puts them ahead of the SEC and the ACC.
This is a big lift for the conference. While the conference was looking to be bleak, this goes to show that the big time media companies have a lot of confidence in the folks within the Big 12 to not only keep the conference together, but to remain a very competitive group.