According to this story from CBSSports.com‘s Dennis Dodd and Brett McMurphy, the Big 12 conference is striving to obtain a $2.6 billion deal with ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports. Their current deal with ESPN doesn’t expire until 2016, but this 13-year deal is being viewed as an extension.
The deal is expected to generate $20 million for each school and will be worth at least $200 million per year. The SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 are currently the three conferences with that type of a deal, and big changes are certainly coming for the Big 12.
The Pac-12′s deal is the most comparable one to the deal the Big 12 is currently negotiating, as it pays each school about $21 million per year. The additions of TCU and West Virginia offset the losses of Missouri and Texas A&M, but the departures of those schools have opened up possible future negotiations for an even bigger extension for the SEC.
As for the ACC, they are the odd conference out at this point (besides the Big East, because they don’t count) but are looking to get one of these deals going with the additions of former Big East powerhouses Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The ACC currently has a $155 million deal that was signed in May of 2010.
The Big 12 nearly fell apart, but luckily the Pac-12- new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was the AD for Stanford- rejected Texas and Oklahoma due to the strife going on in the Big 12. The conference could explore expansion options, so don’t be surprised to hear another Big East powerhouse (Louisville) mentioned by some.
It’s been quite the turnaround for the Big 12 conference, and I am excited to see what the conference can achieve under Bowlsby and with more stability. If the talks that are reportedly close end up netting the Big 12 this mega-deal, then expect some more stability to flow into the conference. And if a team like Louisville joins, then the Big 12 will be cruising.