Television contracts are all the rage this college football offseason and the Big 12 became the first domino to fall on Wednesday. After losing two teams last offseason -- Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-10 -- Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe received assurances from Fox and others with regards to television revenue. On Wednesday, we found out just how much money the Big 12 will be making as Fox and the conference announced a new contract, set to span the next 13 years.
Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, Sports Business Journal is reporting the deal is worth $90 million annually, pushing the total television revenue to $130 million a year for the Big 12.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Sports Business Journal has reported that the contract, which starts with the 2012 football season, will pay the conference $90 million a year.
The Big 12 also has a deal with ABC-ESPN running through 2015-16 that would raise the conference's total TV rights revenue to a reported $130 million annually.
Fox will be the primary carrier for the 10-team Big 12, with ABC family of networks picking up secondary games for its national schedule. The deal also includes online, mobile and multimedia rights, allowing Fox to market the Big 12 across a broad array of platforms.
The Pac-12 is currently in its exclusive negotiating period as commissioner Larry Scott works to secure a new television contract for the expanded conference he oversees. Scott aimed high last summer, making a run at Texas, Oklahoma and other Big 12 schools in an effort to make a big splash and form the first 16-team superconference. Though he fell short, Scott did expand the footprint of the Pac-10, bringing Colorado and Utah into the fold ahead of the 2011-2012 season.
Reading the tea leaves, if the Big 12 was able to secure $90 million a year, the Pac-12 should be in a favorable negotiating position. With 12 teams, and a larger inventory of games, Scott has his sights set on a television contract worth upwards of $10 million per school. In addition to the primary contract, the Pac-12 will feature its own network, much like the Big Ten has now.
Coupled all together, it wouldn't be surprising to see Scott deliver on his promise, if not exceed it. With a contract worth only $60 million a year currently, the Pac-10 lags woefully behind the rest of NCAA at present. But with television contracts stretching into the billions, the Pac-12 is on the cusp of hitting it big, and all 12 schools are in line for a significant financial windfall.
Fox is a major player in the negotiations with the Pac-12, and holds exclusive negotiating rights as the current primary contract with the league. The network is placing a clear emphasis on college athletics, and Scott stands to benefit from what could be a perfect storm. The Big 12 deal announced on Wednesday shows Fox has money to spend, and is prepared to make an aggressive play as it expands its college inventory.