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Big 12 extends media deal with ESPN and FOX

The new deal is an increase of almost $10M per team per year

Uncle Brett’s gonna dive into the money vault
Uncle Brett’s gonna dive into the money vault
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

This morning, Michael Smith and John Ourand of Sports Business Journal report that the Big 12 has reached a $2.28 billion agreement with ESPN and FOX to extend the existing media rights agreement for six years.

The new contract will result in an annual payout of $31.66 million per team per year over the length of the contract, and increase of almost $10 million per team.

The current revenue figures of $41-43 million per team per year include a conference-wide total of $190-210 million per year in other streams — including NCAA Tournament revenue units, College Football Playoff and bowl payouts, and tier 3 deals. That’s currently $19-21 million per team, but would shrink to $16-18 million; however, increases in all those mentioned revenue streams are expected, especially given the strength of the incoming schools in basketball and the potential of an expanded playoff with a larger payout.

As a result, the new deal should easily clear the $50 million mark.

The timing of the expiration of the extension is no accident; in 2031, the Big 12 will again come on the open market ahead of the SEC and — far more importantly — the ACC, whose restrictive grant of rights will expire in the same window. Should the SEC and/or Big Ten make a move on the ACC at that point, the Big 12 would have attractive expansion options on the East Coast to bolster the next contract.

And that’s not even taking into account possible moves west, which could well be on the table if the Pac 12 is unable to secure a deal in the same financial neighborhood.

There is one new wrinkle in the extension; for the first time, FOX has secured a portion of the Big 12’s basketball inventory, further expanding the conference’s cable footprint.

All in all, this is a big win for Brett Yormark, and secures the future of the conference for almost another decade.

Update: it’s now being reported that the tier 3 rights are included in this deal, which reduces the overall revenue by approximately $5 million per team per year. However, most sources still indicate teams should reach the $50 million mark; that may indicate an escalation in CFP payouts.