Fox Sports Goes Long with Big 12

Cable package valued at $1 billion over 13 years

Fox Sports and The Big 12 athletic conference have come to terms on a new billion-dollar, multi-year cable TV rights package.

Valued at approximately $90 million per year, the 13-season pact will bring in approximately $1.03 billion to the conference, which includes the University of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Naturally, the crown jewel of the package is football. Per terms of the new agreement, Fox Sports Net and FX will air a minimum of 40 Big 12 gridiron matchups per year, up from the 20 games stipulated in the earlier deal.

The deal goes into effect at the start of the 2012 college football campaign. (Next season, the league will be composed of 10 member universities, as Colorado and Nebraska are defecting to the Pac-10 and Big 10, respectively.)

The new Fox Sports contract represents a 362 percent increase from the earlier deal, which was pegged at $19.5 million per season. Multimedia rights were baked into the final price.

Along with football, Fox Sports also will enjoy similar cable exclusivity for a minimum of 40 Olympic sporting events, including women’s basketball.

Fox Sports represents the Big 12’s second-tier TV partner; ESPN/ABC Sports’ annual $60 million broadcast package runs through 2015-16. Those rights extend to live coverage of men’s basketball games.

The Big 12 is only the latest conference to stitch together a pricey TV deal. Last year, the ACC inked a 12-year, $1.86 billion contract with ESPN/ABC Sports which included football and basketball rights. In 2009, the sports behemoth inked a 15-year, $2.25 billion cable pact with the SEC—a megadeal that coincided with CBS’ own 15-year, $825 million pact with the conference.

Along with the extra revenue generated for the member schools, the deal should go a long way toward preventing any further defections.

 “This landmark agreement positions the conference with one of the best television arrangements in collegiate sports,” said Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, by way of announcing the deal. “Most importantly, the agreement signifies the long-term commitment of the member institutions to one another.”