Big XII Conference Reaches Media Deal With ESPN and Fox Sports

By Amanda Staver

In a press conference on Friday, the Big XII Conference will go over the new details in their agreement with ESPN and FOX Sports Media. The agreement with with ESPN starts 2012-2013 year and will run through 2024-2025. The deal ESPN and the Big XII conference that was currently in place was scheduled to end in 2015-2015. Last Spring, Fox Sports signed an agreement for 13 years, which has now been adjusted to reflect expansion of rights and other platforms.

Big XII commissioner, Bob Bowlsby on the deal:

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 starts immediately and will begin featuring every home football game on ESPN, FOX or another affiliated platform. A Big XII school will be given the option to retain rights to only one conference football game per season for their own distribution. The only catch is that the school must be able to return the retained game back to FOX Sports. The number of mens basketball games that institutions are allowed to retain are being set at four. The rest of the sports, the schools with retain all rights unless ESPN or FOX decides to broadcast.

Main press conference highlights include:

  • Any institution that leaves the conference, television revenue will stay with the Big XII until agreement is done.
  • The number of televised football games is guaranteed at 25 on any ESPN or FOX affiliated channel.
  • If the conference expands during the time of the contract, entering institutions will be in on the deal. This includes a conference Championship Game.
  • Third-tier options solidified for basketball. More national exposure.
  • Each institution is set to receive 20 million a year, at the least.

And the highlights featured on

  • An increase in the number of guaranteed full national football telecasts to a minimum of 25 per season on a combination of ABC, FOX, ESPN and FX.
  • Allows FOX over-the-air access to Big 12 football with a minimum of six games annually on broadcast television.
  • Allows ESPN Cable Access to Big 12 Football for ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU.
  • Provides FOX with enhanced selections through 2015. ESPN and FOX share rotating game selections beginning in 2016.
  • All media, “TV everywhere” rights to ESPN and FOX.

Bowlsby commented that the Big XII will be the “envy” of some of the other leagues in regard to revenue sharing. He also stated that the higher-ups in the Big XII have been looking for a way to fortify the conference and with this new tv deal, they are one step in the right direction.

FOX is set to begin their Big XII “package” starting September 22nd. It is said to be a night game, so it looks like the featured game may be the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State Wildcats. The Texas Longhorns and TCU Horned Frogs also announced today they will be playing on Thanksgiving night, most likely featured on one of the two outlets.

The Big XII has come a long way since it’s almost guaranteed doom last year. New commish, new schools and now a monumental tv deal just solidifies the staying power.


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