May 07, 2012

Big 12 verbally agrees to new ESPN/Fox deal – Dennis Dodd, CBSSports

Big 12 presidents have verbally agreed to a lucrative new media rights agreement, a source told CBSSports.com.

The deal is expected to be the one reported by CBSSports.com on March 13 worth a combined $2.6 billion with ESPN and Fox. The 13-year deal is projected to be worth $200 million annually to the conference (an average of $20 million per school) through 2025. For the moment, the Big 12 enters the stratosphere of the Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten, all of which are near or above the $200 million per year mark.

Expected to be announced along with the new deal is an extension of the league’s grant of rights. League CEOs had previously agreed to a six-year grant of rights that would allow the conference to keep a school’s television rights if it left for a new league. The expectation is that the new grant of rights will be 13 years to match the TV deal. That provision essentially binds the at-times contentious league together for the term of the agreement.

…The Big 12’s current deal with ESPN/ABC doesn’t expire until 2016. That part of the agreement is being termed an extension that would “sync up” with a $1.2 billion, 13-year deal signed with Fox in April 2011.

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