The new Big 12 TV contract with Fox is about more than just money as Dan Beebe tries to get more eyes on his conference. If this sounds familiar, it should: Larry Scott desires the same result as he tries to balance a significant payday for Pac-12 schools to go along with increased exposure. On Wednesday, Fox gave us a sneak-preview of what its proposal to the Pac-12 could look like by revealing which of its platforms it plans to air Big 12 games on.
One of the biggest complaints about the current Pac-10 TV contract with Fox is the lack of availability both locally and nationwide. As it stands, the Pac-10 is confined to Fox Sports Network, now ROOT Sports in many places. Its equipment and broadcast production has been maligned and many have grown tired of the lack of exposure broadcasting just less than the entire slate of games brings. As it stands, there are more teams and games than available time-slots.
But all that appears to be changing and the newest Big 12 contract gives us an idea of Fox's plans to expand its college sports coverage. In addition to the Fox Sports Network, F/X will be brought into the mix to broadcast Big 12 games. The news comes from Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples, who adds a comparison between F/X and the ESPN family of networks.
More proof the Big 12 made a great deal. ESPN/ESPN2 are available in 99 million households. FX is available in 98 million.
Though F/X isn't known for broadcasting sports events, the distribution is already there. If Fox does win the Pac-12 contract, it's possible we'll see games on FSN, Fox and F/X, increasing the games available to a wider audience. When combined with the planned Pac-12 Network, the possibility of having every football and basketball game broadcast is certainly realistic.
There are other competitiors -- ESPN may be one, NBC/Comcast may be another -- but Fox appears to be putting its best foot forward as it makes a serious run at ESPN.
We'll continue to monitor the Big 12 contract and Pac-12 negotiations as more information becomes available in this StoryStream. For more on our local teams, check out CougCenter, our Washington State blog, and UW Dawg Pound, our Washington blog.