The Big 12 NCAA Conference will sign a six-year. $2.28 billion extension with ESPN and Fox
The GIST: The Big 12 Conference is about to score a big payday. According to recent reports, the college sports organization will sign a six-year, $2.28 billion (!!!) extension with broadcasters ESPN and Fox that runs until the 2030-31 season.
The details: ESPN will pick up over 60% of the Big 12’s inventory in 2024-25, which includes football and both the women’s and men’s basketball championships. Fox will retain a portion of the Big 12’s football games, but adds some of the conference’s basketball selection to its slate for the first time.
- The Big 12 will pocket $380 million annually from ESPN and Fox in the new deal, up from the current $220 million. Individual schools will make $31.7 million a year from media rights once the agreement begins.
The context: Under the leadership of new commissioner Brett Yormark, the Big 12 opted out of heading to the open market and started negotiating early with ESPN and Fox. Barring similar negotiations, the Big 12 will also return to the market in 2031 before two rival conferences do — the SEC and ACC.
- The SEC’s deal with ESPN, worth $300 million annually, expires in 2034, while the ACC’s $240 million-a-year agreement with the Disney subsidiary isn’t up until 2036.
Zooming out: Months after CBS and NBC committed $7 billion to the Big Ten, college conferences continue to sign massive contracts with media companies. Conference leaders seem to be catching on to broadcasters’ sheer eagerness to acquire rights and are updating tactics appropriately. Take notes.
- Another commonality between the Big Ten and Big 12’s new deals? Meaningful coverage of women’s hoops, which continues to make its case as college sports’ hottest emerging property.