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Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe/FOX Agreement Q&A Video
The Big 12 Conference and Fox Sports Media Group have reached a 13-year agreement for exclusive cable rights to 40 football games per season, as well as to a variety of Olympic sports events and Conference championships.
The new pact, which takes effect with the 2012 football season, grants Fox Sports the exclusive cable rights to a minimum of 40 regular-season Big 12 football games-nearly double the number under its current agreement. Many of the telecasts will be distributed on FSN, which reaches over 85 million homes through two dozen owned and affiliated networks. Several other games will also be scheduled on FX, one of the most-watched cable networks in the country, now available in more than 99 million households, as part of its recently announced new college football game of the week. Fox also has similar cable exclusivity for a minimum of 40 Olympic sports events, including Conference championship events and women's basketball. The agreement also includes comprehensive multimedia rights to allow Fox to maximize online, mobile, and wireless opportunities for its Big 12 content.
"This landmark agreement positions the Conference with one of the best television arrangements in collegiate sports," said Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe. "It exceeds the benchmarks as we move forward with our 10 members by providing significant revenue growth, increased exposure while allowing institutions to retain selected rights. Most importantly, the agreement signifies the long-term commitment of the member institutions to one another. The Conference is delighted to continue its partnership with Fox and build on the momentum the FSN network has generated for the Big 12 brand through our first 15 years. We are excited about extending our presence on other FOX platforms, especially on FX, a top cable network."
"This agreement extends our relationship with a valued long-time partner and ensures that Fox Sports will have an incredibly strong college football slate to offer viewers well into the next decade," said Randy Freer, President of FOX Sports Networks.
"These 10 universities in the center of America stand together in their commitment," University of Missouri Chancellor and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors Chairman Brady Deaton said. "The Big 12 will generate per member television revenue at competitive levels of college athletics, while at the same time increasing exposure for our programs on national and regional platforms, and providing for comprehensive institutional rights retention."
"Dating back to last summer, the 10 continuing members of the Big 12 Conference were convinced that we had a very special future and there was a place in the collegiate marketplace for a major 10-team conference," said Joe Castiglione, University of Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics, who also serves as chair of the Conference's AD group. "We knew that a format that crowned true champions through head-to-head competition would be beneficial to the Conference, our fans and media partners."
When the agreement takes effect in the 2012-13 academic year, every Big 12 home football game will be broadcast on ABC, a FOX network, or by institutional platforms. Big 12 schools will have the option to retain rights to one home football game per season for distribution via institutional platforms. In all other sports, institutions will retain the rights to all home contests not selected for broadcast by ABC/ESPN or FOX Sports.
The Conference continues its long standing partnership with ABC/ESPN for its over-the-air Big 12 football and men's basketball rights, including the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship. The league's current ABC/ESPN agreement runs through 2015-16.
With its new Big 12 agreement in place, Fox Sports Media Group now boasts the most comprehensive portfolio of college product in the country, with nearly 2,000 marquee events showcased through national and regional platforms, including FOX Sports, FSN, the Big Ten Network, and FOX College Sports. The Big 12 solidifies Fox Sports' impressive roster of conference partners that includes Conference USA, ACC, Pac-10 and SEC.
About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation's wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox's 19 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and Fox College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com and scout.com, reaching over 20 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are Fox's interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network, FOX Sports Skybox restaurants and FOX Sports Grills.
About the Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities - Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech - beginning July 1, 2011. The Big 12 is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics conference that encompasses five states with over 40 million people within its geographic footprint. More than 4,100 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually in the 23 sports sponsored by the Conference.
Annual Football Coverage
Note: Current ABC/ESPN contract provides for:
|Football||18 games per season|
|Men’s Basketball||95 games per season & Conference Championship|
|Women’s Basketball||6 games per season|
|Other Sports/Women’s Basketball||up to 25 games per season *|
What are the terms of the agreement?
Thirteen years beginning with the 2012-13 season and running through 2024-25. Under the terms FOX will have the exclusive cable telecast rights to Big 12 football, a minimum of 40 other events (outside of football and men’s basketball) each season and all Championships except men’s basketball. The Conference has a separate contract with ABC/ESPN through 2015-16 for the broadcast of over-the-air football (18 games a season) and men’s basketball. As a result of both agreements, all conference-controlled football games will be televised. Big 12 member schools also retain the television rights to one home football game a season, and all home sporting events not selected for telecast by ABC/ESPN or FOX; providing for the most extensive preservation of institutional rights among the major conferences.
What made continuing with Fox so appealing?
The Big 12 has been partnered with FOX since the Conference began operations. They have been long time quality partners, so continuing with them was an easy call for our members. Their desire to elevate the distribution of our games through a multi-platform approach and, obviously, their willingness to make a significant, long-term financial commitment were factors.
What are the financial details?
Under terms of the agreement, that is confidential. Of course the revenue stream is important, but there is so much more to this arrangement than finances. FOX has made a long-term investment in our future and believes the Big 12 can help its business grow. To that end, they have assured us they will promote college football like they have never promoted it before, and enhance the viewer experience with new and creative production elements. With the revenue boost this agreement provides, coupled with our existing ABC/ESPN contract, the Conference will generate per member revenue at the highest levels of college athletics. We also have the opportunity for an additional increase in television revenue when the Conference’s over-the-air football and men’s basketball television rights come up for renewal in four years.
How does this benefit fans?
For the first time, every home football game will be distributed. The agreement also calls for production of Big 12 championship events; carriage of a minimum of 40 non-football events per season, including 25 women’s basketball games; institutions retain the rights to produce and broadcast all remaining home sporting events not selected through the Conference’s television package; and full game replays on institutional platforms 72 hours after initial airing on FOX.
How does this agreement fit in with the Conference’s overall television package?
It allows us to maintain our long-standing partnerships with FOX and ABC/ESPN, and assures that Big 12 programming continues to be delivered to fans of the Conference and its member schools on the two leading networks in college sports.
How does this impact the future of the Conference?
This landmark agreement positions the Conference with the best television arrangement in collegiate sports, taking into account revenue, exposure and preservation of institutional rights. It achieves these benchmarks while solidifying the long-term commitment of the member institutions to one another. Add to this that we will be back in the marketplace in four years with our Tier I football and men’s basketball rights, and you can see why we believe that the best days of the Big 12 Conference are yet to come.
With this being an agreement for cable rights, what impact will this have on the Conference’s future negotiation with ABC/ESPN for it’s over the air rights?
One of the points consistently made last summer while the Conference was navigating through the realignment waters, was for patience; that our turn to generate significant television dollars would be realized when our opportunity to negotiate new television contracts came around. During the time since we signed our last television agreement, our peer conferences have realized significant increases in their television revenues when they had the opportunity to take their rights to market. We knew our turn would also come, and are now realizing the market value of the Conference and its 10-member schools. Our current television agreements make our revenue situation comparable to our peers and we anticipate a significant bump when the rights to our men’s basketball and over-the-air football are available in four years.
How does this agreement impact institutional networks?
It puts our institutions in a very unique position. They are able to monetize their remaining rights through institutional distribution platforms that can include a single institution forming its own network, or a group of schools combining resources and inventory to structure a network.
There are naysayers who think the Conference is not going to survive long-term?
The presidents and chancellors of the 10 member institutions last summer made public statements that committed their institutions unequivocally and unconditionally long-term to the Conference. Their unanimous vote to approve this binding long-term contract is an explicit demonstration of that commitment. This Conference has never been stronger and the dedication of the member institutions to one another never deeper. The Big 12 is a vibrant conference with a tremendously bright future.