AP sources: Big 12 agrees to 6-year extension with ESPN, Fox

Oct 30, 2022, 8:20 AM | Updated: 9:26 am
FILE -Incoming Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark speaks during a news conference opening the confer...

FILE -Incoming Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark speaks during a news conference opening the conference's football media days in Arlington, Texas, July 13, 2022. Yormark described recent discussions with television partners ESPN and Fox as “meaningful” as the conference looks into the possibility of striking a media rights deal almost two years before the current contract expires. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

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

Two people confirmed details of the new media rights deal to The Associated Press on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because contracts have yet to be finalized and no official announcement was expected soon.

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

New Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark announced in August he was engaging the networks in discussions about an extension and just a few weeks ago said a new deal could be done soon.

The television deal provides stability to a league that a little more than a year ago seemed to be in danger of falling apart. Oklahoma and Texas announced in the summer of 2021 that they intended to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference at the end of the current TV deal, which expires in 2025.

Former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the conference moved quickly to add Houston, Cincinnati, Central Florida and BYU. Those four will join next year, giving the Big 12 14 teams for at least one season.

It would cost tens of millions of dollars for Texas and Oklahoma to break current contracts leave the conference early.

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

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              Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark, left, is presented with a personalized jersey by University of Central Florida athletic director Terry Mohajir during a press conference at the University of Central Florida, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. UCF is among the four new schools joining the Big 12 in their conference expansion beginning in 2023. The other 3 schools being added are Cincinnati, Houston and Brigham Young University. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
            
              FILE -Incoming Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark speaks during a news conference opening the conference's football media days in Arlington, Texas, July 13, 2022. Yormark described recent discussions with television partners ESPN and Fox as “meaningful” as the conference looks into the possibility of striking a media rights deal almost two years before the current contract expires. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

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AP sources: Big 12 agrees to 6-year extension with ESPN, Fox