Big 12 announces TV deal with ESPN, Fox

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    The Big 12 Conference announced a 13-year agreement with ESPN and FOX Sports Media Group.

    Beginning this season, every Big 12 home football game will be carried on a combination of ESPN, FOX or institutional platforms.

    As part of the agreement, both companies will jointly share the Conference's football over-the-air and cable rights. ESPN continues as the primary rights holder of Big 12 men's basketball, including the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship.

    The new deal with ESPN begins with the upcoming 2012-13 season and runs through 2024-25, replacing the previous eight-year agreement that was scheduled to run through 2015-16. The new Big 12/ESPN contract now runs concurrently with the 13-year agreement between the Conference and FOX. That agreement, announced last spring, has been augmented to reflect the expansion of rights and platforms.

    "The stability of the Big 12 Conference is cemented," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "We are positioned with one of the best media rights arrangements in collegiate sports, providing the Conference and its members unprecedented revenue growth, and sports programming over two networks."

    Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Highlights of the joint agreement include:

    • 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.

    Big 12 members’ thoughts on the deal

    "The Big 12 will generate per member television revenue at the highest level of college athletics, while increasing exposure for our programs, and continuing to provide for comprehensive institutional rights," Oklahoma State University president and Big 12 Conference board of directors chairman Burns Hargis said. "The Conference is excited to build upon its long-standing relationships with both ESPN and FOX. I would also like to acknowledge the Board's executive committee for its fine work during this process."

    "Today's announcement, coupled with the hiring of Bob Bowlsby as our league's new commissioner, is a great example of how well the Big 12 is positioned for the future," University of Texas Athletics Director and Chairman of the Big 12 Athletics Directors, DeLoss Dodds said. "This contract ensures the Big 12 Conference will continue to be one of the premier conferences in the country."

    "The Big 12 combines institutions known for excellence with passionate fan bases and rich traditions," ESPN president John Skipper said. "This agreement gives us long-term stability, more games and more flexibility for when and how fans can see their favorite teams."

    "We're very pleased to continue our long-running relationship with the Big 12, clearly one of the most successful and esteemed collegiate athletic conferences in America," Randy Freer, Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group said. "This expanded partnership gives FSMG several Big 12 football games to showcase as part of our first-ever over-the air schedule on FOX, while also providing a substantial number of games for our other platforms. It's a win-win for everyone concerned."

    Agreement facts  

    Terms   

    • 13-year agreement.
    • 2012-13 athletic season through 2024-25.

    Finances   

    • Combined with current revenue streams, the Conference will provide annual average per institution television revenue at the highest level of college athletics.
    • Coupled with FOX agreement signed in April 2011, […] provides a significant increase in the Conference's television rights. 

    Platforms   

    • Big 12 events to be carried on various ESPN and FOX platforms including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, FOX, FX, FSN, Fox College Sports (FCS), and FOX Sports Digital Platforms.

    Programming   

    • No warehousing of rights.
    • Institutions have the option to retain rights to one home football game and a minimum of four men's basketball games per season for distribution via permitted member institution outlets and third-party licenses including the FSN Regional Networks and FOX College Sports.
    • No exclusive telecast windows, except for ESPN men's basketball "Big Monday" and "Saturday College GameDay" telecasts featuring Big 12 teams.

    Annual Football Coverage   

    • Every Big 12 controlled football game.
    • ABC/ESPN: 19 games per year thru 2015, increasing to 23 games annually in 2016 (minimum 13-15 full national exposures via ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or in combination with reverse mirror); maximum four-five games on ESPNU.
    • FOX: Approximately 38 games with minimum of six contests annually on FOX broadcast and six games on a national cable outlet.
    • Member Retained Game: One member-retained game, which must be carried on a FOX platform if returned.
    • Television partners have a maximum four six-day picks between them per season.
    • Minimum four Thursday games each season (including Labor Day weekend and Thanksgiving Day); and one Labor Day Sunday appearance.
    • Maximum of four games scheduled for 8:15 p.m. local time starts per season with the following restrictions: no program required to play more than twice; host more than once; play consecutive weekends; and six-day pick only with Conference consent.

    Annual Men's Basketball Coverage   

    • ESPN to televise 100-105 games per season, with 43 games on ESPN or ESPN2 (or sublicense to ABC, CBS, FOX) including a minimum of 30 intra-conference games.
    • Up to 40 games on ESPNU.
    • Option to sublicense up to 20 games to another national cable outlet.
    • Up to six games per season for live origination on ESPN3.
    • Remaining games on broadcast syndication with Big 12 Network branding.
    • Minimum four games each season retained for individual permitted member institution outlets.
    • A collective minimum of 50 games per season designated for permitted member institution outlets and third-party licensees (any games returned to ESPN are subtracted from the 50-game threshold).

    Exposure  

    • FOX Sports Media Group platforms to carry a minimum of 40 non-football events annually
    • Minimum of 31 women's basketball games per season on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or FSMG platforms.
    • ESPN networks retain option for up to 25 additional women's basketball and/or other sports contests per season.
    • Championship events, except men's basketball, on FSMG platforms.