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BREAKING: Big 12 Reaches New Media Rights Deal

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The once-beleaguered Big 12 has stabilized its future by coming to terms with ESPN and Fox Sports on a six-year media rights agreement worth a total of $2.28B, an annual average of $380M, according to sources. The Big 12 has two years remaining on its current deal, which runs through the 2024-25 season at an annual average of $220M in its final years. The new six-year extension runs through 2030-31.

The agreement represents a big win for the Big 12 and new commissioner Brett Yormark, who since starting his job on Aug. 1 immediately began plotting to get a new deal done with the Big 12’s incumbents, ESPN and Fox. The problem was that the Big 12’s exclusive negotiating window with those networks did not begin until February 2024, so the conference convinced the networks to start negotiating an extension early by telling them that any talks would not trigger the exclusive window. But Yormark moved quickly to get deals done with both ESPN and Fox in fewer than three months.

In striking these deals prior to the exclusive negotiating window with ESPN and Fox, the Big 12 managed to achieve several of its primary objectives, namely stability and security, the ability to go back to its 12 member schools to seek an extended grant of rights and a leg up on any future conference expansion. The conference also likes the idea that the shorter six-year deal that runs through 2031 means that the Big 12 will be back in the market ahead of both the SEC, whose deal with ESPN goes through 2034, and the ACC, whose ESPN deal expires in 2036.

Quick Math - 380 Million divided by 12 members = 31.6M before Tier 3 rights and bowl money. 220M (previous deal) divided by 10 members = 22M. The Big 12 in 2020-2021 distributed 43M to each of its members based on total revenue. Expect that number to be closer to 50-60M per school following this new deal.