Big 12 officials have agreed to a 13-year deal with Fox Sports Media Group to televise at least 40 football games per season, as well as a variety of Olympic sports, in a cable rights agreement that goes into effect with the 2012 football season.
Although financial details were not announced today, the deal reportedly could be worth up to $90 million annually and more than triples the league’s revenues from its existing cable agreement, which expires after the 2011-2012 school year. The league has a separate contract with ABC/ESPN for football (18 games per season) and men’s basketball games that runs through the 2015-2016 school year.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said the Fox cable deal gives the league “one of the best television arrangements in college sports,” from a financial standpoint, and should make it possible for other conference schools to meet a pledge made last summer to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma _ when the Big 12 appeared on the verge of collapse _ that guaranteed those schools at least $20 million in league revenues in future seasons.
“It looks like this will make that issue moot in 2012 and beyond,” Beebe said. “We’re counting on that going forward.”
The new agreement means every Big 12 home football game, effective in 2012, will be televised on ABC/ESPN, a Fox cable network or an institutional platform such as the Longhorn Network, Texas’ school-run network in concert with ESPN that will debut this fall.
_ Jimmy Burch