Big 12 Conference Reached New Media Rights Deal

IRVING (September 7, 2012) -- The Big 12 Conference announced it has reached agreement with ESPN and FOX Sports Media Group that extends and expands its partnerships with both media enterprises.

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 13-year 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," said commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "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."

Highlights of the joint agreement include:

Ø 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.
Ø Allows FOX over-the-air access to Big 12 football with a minimum of six games annually on broadcast television.
Ø Allows ESPN cable access to Big 12 football for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU
Ø Provides FOX with enhanced selections through 2015. ESPN and FOX share rotating game selections beginning in 2016.
Ø All media, "TV everywhere" rights to ESPN and FOX.

"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," commented Oklahoma State University president and Big 12 Conference board of directors chairman Burns Hargis. "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."

Beginning this season, every Big 12 home football game will be carried on a combination of ESPN, FOX or institutional platforms. Big 12 schools will have the option to retain rights to one conference-controlled football game per season for distribution via permitted member institution outlets and third-party licensees, or can return the retained game back to FOX for broadcast. Institutions will also be permitted to retain a minimum of four men’s basketball games a season. In all other sports, institutions will retain rights to all home contests not selected for air by ESPN or FOX.

"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," added University of Texas athletics director and chairman of the Big 12 Athletics Directors, DeLoss Dodds. "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," commented ESPN president John Skipper. "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," said Randy Freer, Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group. "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."


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