Big 12 Conference places TCU on new stage

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    The reconstructed Big 12 Conference released the 2012 football schedule Tuesday morning.

    The new schedule starts with TCU at home against Grambling State on Sept. 8, and TCU’s first road game, as well as its first conference game in the Big 12, will be against Kansas on Sept. 15.

    During the season, TCU will face the University of Virginia, Iowa State University, Texas Tech University, Kansas State University and the University of Oklahoma at home in the newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium.

    The transition to the Big 12 will give TCU the opportunity to reach a broader audience. Big 12 games air on ABC, Fox Sports and the ESPN networks.

    Last April, the Big 12 signed a 13-year lucrative deal with Fox Sports worth up to $1 billion.

    The agreement with Fox locked in exclusive cable rights to 40 games per season as well.

    Another lucrative deal between ABC, ESPN and the Big 12 was made in 2007 and brings in $65 million a year and will last through 2015-16.

    Director of Athletics Media Relations Mark Cohen said the exposure through the Big 12’s television partners will be positive not only for the football program, but “for all sports at TCU as well as the campus as a whole.”

    Aside from helping TCU gain exposure, Fox Sports Southwest writer Keith Whitmire said he believed the new stations will help TCU games become more accessible to viewers.

    “The Mtn., CBS Sports Network and Versus aren’t as easy for viewers to find,” Whitmire said. “Some cable and satellite systems may not even offer some of those networks.”

    Whitmire said college football fans know to go to ABC, ESPN and their regional sports networks simply out of habit.

    “ESPN and ABC will relentlessly promote upcoming game broadcasts that include TCU,” Whitmire said. “The announcers are more likely to mention TCU, graphics that include upcoming opponents, etc.”

    On campus, the athletic department already started working to get Big 12 attention on TCU.

    Associate Athletics Director for External Operations Scott Kull said the Athletics Department was working with Fort Worth city leaders on TCU and Big 12 branding in downtown and in the stockyards.

    Kull also said the department was working on transportation and logistics plans for TCU fans and opposing teams’ fans coming to Fort Worth for the games.


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