Report: Big 12 to Cash in With New ESPN Deal

According to the Sports Business Journal, the Big 12 is about to hit the jackpot in an extended deal with ESPN:

The Big 12 and ESPN are nearing an extension that will earn the conference — combined with its Fox TV contract — $2.5 billion over the next 13 years, according to industry sources. The ESPN extension would run through 2025 and sync up with Fox’s deal.

By network, the Big 12 stands to make $1.3 billion from ESPN and $1.2 billion from Fox over the life of the two deals.

There are plenty more details in that article, so be sure to hit the link to see it all.

What I notice is that the Big 12 will now be getting roughly $192 million per year from its two TV partners. The SEC is currently receiving $205 million per year combined from CBS and ESPN; the Pac-12's monster new deal is for $250 million annually.

The new Big 12 contract is worth $50 million annually more than the old deal. The old deal was for a 12-team league with Nebraska, Texas A&M, Colorado, and Missouri in it. The new deal is for a 10-team league with TCU and West Virginia replacing those other four schools. That should give you an idea as to how much the value of TV rights have gone up in recent years.

Two things I know: SEC football is the ratings king and it's not close, and Mike Slive is currently in negotiations with his TV partners on a new deal reflecting the new league membership. If a crippled Big 12 can get a sizable pay raise, then rest assured that the SEC will be getting an incredible amount of money.

The real question is whether the league is going to start up its own TV network like the Big Ten and Pac-12 have done. I can't think of a good reason not to. Without such a network, the income is capped at what Slive can extract from CBS and ESPN. With a well-run network, the sky's the limit.

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