In a massive move for the Big 12, the conference has reached an agreement with ESPN that will change the way fans view Big 12 content.
According to Sports Business Daily, the deal will see ABC or ESPN carry every football championship game through 2024. In addition, ESPN will launch a new Big 12-dedicated section to their ESPN+ service.
Per the report, ESPN will be paying the Big 12 $40 million on top of the broadcast rights that the network is already paying the conference. The report indicates that the two sums should equal roughly $22 million per year in revenue for the Big 12.
Of course, thanks to other deals, Texas and Oklahoma-owned events won’t be featured on ESPN+, a $5 per month subscription service.
Every deal ESPN has cut recently has included a significant ESPN+ component, and this one is no different. Hundreds of events from all sports will be offered on ESPN+ under a Big 12 brand. Eight of the 10 schools will provide more than 50 exclusive events per year, including at least one football game, any spring football game and any basketball game that is not on an ESPN linear network. Texas, which has Longhorn Network, and Oklahoma, which has its own local rights deal, will not provide content to ESPN+. However, both schools will be featured on the streaming service when they are an away team and during conference championships outside of football and basketball.
FOX owns the rights to Oklahoma content and other specific Big 12 events, but declined to buy the rights to the 2019, 2021, and 2023 Big 12 Championship games.
As for how the Texas Longhorns and their Longhorns Network will be affected, it is not expected to be an issue.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the new deal between the Big 12 and ESPN won’t disrupt Texas’ content on the Longhorns Network. LHN is also an ESPN property.
Only four teams will be available for the new Big 12 content in the Fall: Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. The remaining four teams won’t be available on the service until the 2020-21 seasons.