Sports

6-year contract extension with ESPN, Fox

The Big 12 has reached an agreement on six-year contract extensions with ESPN and Fox worth more than $2 billion that will retain the conference’s media rights to those networks through the 2030-31 college sports seasons, according to people familiar with the deal.

Two people confirmed the details of the new media rights deal to The Associated Press on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contracts have not yet been finalized and official announcements are not expected anytime soon.

Sports Business Journal first reported that the deal would be worth $380 million annually. The Big 12 has two years left on its current deals with Fox and ESPN.

New Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark announced in August that he was engaging the networks in expansion discussions and said just weeks ago that a new deal could be in place soon.

The TV deal brings stability to a league that just over a year ago appeared to be in danger of collapsing. Oklahoma and Texas announced in the summer of 2021 that they intend to leave the Big 12 to join the Southeastern Conference after the expiration of their current television deal, which expires in 2025.

Former Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the conference members quickly added Houston, Cincinnati, Central Florida and BYU. Those four will join next year, giving the Big 12 or 14 teams for at least one season.

It will cost Texas and Oklahoma tens of millions of dollars to terminate their current contracts early.

Without the Longhorns, the Sooners were concerned about how much the networks would value the Big 12. The final two years of the current deal pay $220 million annually.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-big-12-tv-rights-espn-fox-20221030-rt6dvjwiungutojozovvuxpkra-story.html#ed=rss_www.chicagotribune.com/arcio/rss/category/sports/

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