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Big 12 Formally Announces New $2.6B TV Rights Deals With ESPN, Fox
Published September 7, 2012
THIRSTY FOR THURSDAY: In Birmingham, Jon Solomon wondered whether there could be "more Thursday games for the SEC" on ESPN. The conference's contract with ESPN "requires two Thursday night games each season, although that doesn't always happen." Stadium locations, parking concerns and "disruption to classes and fans are reasons some SEC schools avoid Thursday nights." There is some "incentive for the SEC, which has been in talks with ESPN to create an SEC channel." SEC consultant Larry Templeton said, "I would hope that we have a conversation, which we haven't yet, that everybody plays a game on Thursday night during the (next scheduling) cycle." Templeton added that the league is "trying to put together a four- or five-year cycle with actual playing dates and a rotation for opponents through 2024 or 2025." Templeton: "It could become a highly-viewed (TV) window, particularly in an exclusive window." Solomon noted the conference is "eyeing the Thanksgiving time slot in the future on ESPN to replace Texas-Texas A&M, which got scrapped when the Aggies left the Big 12." The annual LSU-Texas A&M matchup has "surfaced publicly as one possibility" (AL.com, 9/6).