According to a report by Sports Business Journal, Fox Sports is close to a deal with the Big 12 conference which would dramatically increase the college conference’s annual payment to $6 million from its current $20 million cable deal. The deal would be a big boost for the Big 12, whose future was in doubt last year after two of its marquee schools switched to other conferences.
But there are complications. The University of Texas already has a deal with ESPN to launch its own cable network and the University of Oklahoma is looking to do the same. With only 10 schools currently in the Big 12, that would leave only eight able to participate if Fox Sports rebrands one of its national college sports channels.
The Big 12’s current cable contract with Fox Sports runs through the 2011-2012 academic year. Sports Business Journal says the extension under discussion would be long-term, possibly 10 years. The Big 12 also has a network broadcast contract with ABC/ESPN worth $480 million over eight years that runs through the 2015-2016 school year.