Friday, September 7, 2012

Big 12 rights deal

This is probably redundant but here's a brief recap of the Big 12 rights deals with FOX and ESPN


The meat of the deal revolves around football.  ESPN retains rights to 19 games per year with the number jumping to 23 in 2016.  FOX retains approximately 38 games per year.  Some of the key items revolve around institutional telecasts & broadcast vs. cable games

* Of ESPN's 19 games, they can air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or Longhorn Network.  How does Longhorn Network fit?  Isn't it the institutional platform for Texas?  Yes it is.  As ESPN's Burke Magnus corrected me on Twitter, games on Longhorn Network count towards the 19 games for any game after the 1st Texas game (aka Texas's institutional game).
* No more than 4-5 games can appear on ESPNU.
* Anywhere from 13-15 of the 19 games must be full national in some form.  Either by a national game on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU or through a reverse mirror combination with ABC and ESPN/ESPN2.  In short, on the ESPN side, they no longer have to negotiate with FOX to place games on the cable networks nor to do reverse mirroring of games.
* FOX must place at least six of its games on its broadcast network and another six games on a national cable outlet.  I presume that "national cable outlet" today means F/X (could be a different channel in the future) since FSN is not cleared in many areas of the country on regional sports networks not majority owned by FOX.
* If a school elects not to televise its institutional game, the rights to that game revert back to FOX for broadcasting
* At least four Thursday games per year including Thanksgiving (looks like this will start in 2013 with the exception of Thanksgiving 2012) and one game on Sunday of Labor Day weekend
* ESPN and FOX combine to hold four six-day picks
* No more than four 8:15pm local time starts with various restrictions

One way to look at is is that FOX/ABC should be the top choice each week, FX/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU make up the national cable tier, then FSN and FOX College Sports would represent the syndication package for the conference due to regional pre-emptions.

I have some questions out re: appearance maximums on FOX/ABC and what exclusivity exists between ABC and FOX in terms of whether, for example, ABC and FSN could air a game at the same time.  Previously ABC windows were exclusive with no FOX cable telecasts allowed.


ESPN retains its role as the exclusive rightsholder to the conference.  It does have an agreement with CBS to sublicense games to the broadcast network.

* Compared to the previous deal, ESPN will have 10-15 more national games
* The number of ESPNU games will double from 20 to 40
* Six games can be exclusively webcasted on ESPN3
* No change in the number of games offered via Big 12 Network syndication
* At least four games per school will be held by each school to be aired with at least 50 total games from all conference members to be aired regionally or locally via institutional networks
* ESPN can sublicense up to 20 games per season to another national cable outlet

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