SBD/March 14, 2012/Media

Big 12, ESPN Expected To Sign An Extension Through '25 Worth $1.3B

Each Big 12 school is set to make $5M more annually from the proposed new TV deal
The Big 12 is on the verge of a blockbuster TV contract that will put its media revenue in the top tier of college conferences despite losing several marquee programs in the last two years. The Big 12 and ESPN are nearing an extension that will earn the conference -- combined with its Fox contract -- $2.5B over the next 13 years, according to industry sources. The ESPN extension would run through '25 and sync up with Fox’ deal. By network, the Big 12 stands to make $1.3B from ESPN and $1.2B from Fox over the life of the two deals. ESPN’s old contract with the Big 12 ran through '16, but the two sides are close on a nine-year extension that will increase the conference’s average revenue from its current $150M a year to nearly $200M annually. Each Big 12 school will make roughly $5M more a year in the new contract over the old deal. “We have an existing agreement with the Big 12 that has four years remaining,” said ESPN VP/Communications Mike Soltys. “We are in regular conversations with all our partners about future opportunities. There’s nothing beyond that.” The Big 12’s potential revenue windfall comes on the heels of mass upheaval for the conference, which has lost Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC, while adding TCU from the Mountain West and West Virginia from the Big East to stay at 10 teams. Additionally, the new media revenue could effectively end any discussion of the Big 12 expanding back to 12 teams. Under the new terms, each Big 12 school will average just under $20M a year. Schools in the Pac-12, which also partnered with ESPN and Fox to generate its record $3B deal over 12 years, will average nearly $21M per school. It remains to be seen how the Big 12’s new contract will affect the ongoing negotiations between ESPN and two other league partners, the SEC and the ACC. Both conferences expanded to 14 schools, which makes them eligible to negotiate new terms.
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