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ESPN Releases Statement On Wednesday College Football Rumor

A general photo of ESPN's set.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN)

Conference realignment is the name of the game in the current college sports landscape. For conferences not named the SEC or the Big Ten, that means securing long-term media rights deals to keep themselves afloat.

On Wednesday, ESPN's Pete Thamel reported that FOX, as well as his employer, are set to open talks with the Big 12 about its next TV deal. But in a recent statement, ESPN shut down its own senior writer's report. 

We regularly engage in conversation around the future with all of our partners, but to be clear, we have not opened the contractual negotiation window with the Big 12 at this time.

The conference said that it would "be entering into discussions with its multi-media partners to explore an accelerated extension of its current agreements."

But if ESPN's not a part of those conversations, what does that mean for the conference? Or even the network for that matter.