Fox Sports Media Group has secured the exclusive cable broadcast rights to the Big 12 Conference in a 13-year deal worth a reported US$1.2 billion over the duration of the contract.
Multiple media sources are reporting that Fox has agreed to pay US$90 million annually, starting from the 2012 season, with the channel granted exclusive cable rights to at least 40 matches per season.
The deal provides the rights to every Big 12 championship except the men’s basketball tournament, which is televised by ESPN.
Despite the conference being reduced to ten teams from the normal 12 at the end of the 2011 season, the agreement marks a significant increase and expansion of the current cable deal the conference has with Fox Sports. Ending in 2012, this is believed to be worth US$20 million per year, but only includes rights for 20 matches. The majority of the allocated games will be broadcast on the Fox Sports Net One, with some also to be shown on the company’s FX channel.
The announcement of this agreement supplements the deal that the Big 12 already holds with ESPN and ABC, which runs until the 2015/16 school year and is worth US$60 million annually.
Fox Sports Networks president Randy Freer declared: “There is no question that there is upward pressure on the value of sports rights. Sports and college sports have been undervalued comparatively to other content in the marketplace, and this is going to create the opportunity for collegiate sports to create a better marketplace.”
Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, and chairman of the Big 12’s board of directors, added: “Clearly, we did not have a thorough sense of where we are today, but we were confident that we had a lot of brand history and tradition to build on in the Big 12 Conference. We were very confident in having a highly competitive cohesive conference that could make a difference in the world of college athletics.”
From July 2011, the Big 12 will only have ten members as the University of Colorado has joined the Pac 12, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will become the twelfth member of the Big 10.
The Big 12 and Fox Sports agreed to a new exclusive cable rights agreement on Wednesday. Sic 'em Sports Productions' John Morris interviews Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw to talk about the good news.
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