Some Big 12 expansion could lead to higher media rights | Techy Kings


The Big 12’s media deals with ESPN and Fox have been thoroughly dissected, but I’ll try to put a bow on them as attention now turns to the Pac-12.

The Big 12 and Pac-12 both got what they wanted from the new Big 12 media rights deal.

The Big 12 moved early, jumping ahead of the Pac-12 and striking deals with incumbents ESPN and Fox that provide stability and security for the conference’s future. Did leaving early leave some money on the table? Almost certainly. But the Big 12 was not operating from a position of strength, given the impending departure of Oklahoma and Texas. That the Big 12 managed to negotiate any increase at all is remarkable.

The Pac-12 emerged from its exclusive negotiating windows without a deal and took its rights to the open market so the conference could negotiate with all media markets. The idea was that such an approach would generate a bidding war that generated the most revenue, but it also comes with greater risk. Like the Big 12, however, the Pac-12 is also not managing from a position of strength, given that USC and UCLA are on the way out.

The bottom line with the Big 12 and Pac-12 is that both conferences are flawed. They went to the bargaining table and leaked oil and they will come away with appropriate offers that are the equivalent of sealing the leaks with duct tape, especially compared to the Big Ten and the SEC.

Here are the takeaways I found most interesting in the aftermath of the Big 12’s six-year, $2.28 billion deal with ESPN and Fox.

  • The Pac-12 appears to be headed toward a linearly focused deal with ESPN and a streaming deal with Amazon. The clear goal is to surpass the Big 12’s annual average of $31.7 million per school. But ESPN seems to have the leverage here with the Pac-12 because there is minimal competition. Fox appears to be holding out in case it can get a bundle on the cheap, and Apple is not seen as a serious bidder.
  • The Big 12 negotiated a pro rata clause in its contract, meaning the conference is certain to get a raise if it expands with another Power Five school. And everything points to more expansion from the Big 12, sources say. The conference also has the granting of rights from the membership, another measure to ensure security.
  • Timing was everything for the Big 12. It played a role in the decision to go early, which bumped the conference ahead of the Pac-12. And timing will allow the Big 12 to return to the bargaining table when their deals close in 2031, ahead of the SEC and ACC.
  • I’m not sure there’s been enough discussion about how Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark got this deal done in less than three months. He officially started on August 1, and even though he worked behind the scenes before, that’s a ridiculously quick turnaround for a deal this big that required so much maneuvering.

Yes, ESPN pays more for the Big 12 rights than Fox, but ESPN also gets the first 20 picks of men’s basketball games each season, the first four picks of football games and 12 of the first 20.

Altius Sports Partners has signed USC on to its on-campus GM program, through which an Altius executive will lead the Trojans’ name, image and likeness. This GM for USC will be part of the athletic department and will coordinate NIL programming tools, education, monitoring and other NIL resources for the school to ensure its athletes maximize their NIL rights.

USC AD Mike Bohn said this is part of the Trojans’ effort to help their athletes succeed in the NIL space. “Over the past year, Altius has been a valued partner and we are excited to participate in their general manager program, which will place a NIL expert on our campus,” Bohn said in a statement through the school.

The Altius GM program launched in July with Altius managers on six campuses – Cincinnati, LSU, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, South Carolina and Virginia.

The Trojans’ involvement in the program expands the NIL partnership between the school and Altius. USC was one of the company’s cornerstone clients when they began working together in June 2021. Altius VP/Collegiate Partnerships Brittney Whiteside: “As we continue to invest in the resources to support our network of GMs … we are focused on identifying a dynamic leader for the position and make an immediate impact.”

UConn has joined the growing number of schools that have launched a streaming service. UConn+ went live today on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. The service will also be available on the school’s website and app.

UConn created the streaming service with Learfield Studios and Sidearm Sports. Huskies fans will find original and live programming, events, features, game highlights and on-demand content.

While UConn will develop much of the programming in-house, including coaches’ shows, press conferences and other mini-features, Learfield Studios has placed production staff on location in Storrs with the support of a central production team.

UConn AD David Benedict referred to this as “a new platform to creatively connect with fans 24/7/365,” he said.

  • More returning stars. Lost icons. Talk about tournament expansion. Any new revenues and fees for media rights. College basketball is adapting to fit the new world order, and I wrote about where the sport is as part of SBJ’s season preview this week. Also:
  • ESPN’s Jay Bilas had his offseason call with the media today and had this to say about the sport, “The only concern I have with basketball in general is the fact that there are 360 ​​Division I teams, [which] I think there are too many. If you want an even playing field, which we’re never going to get with 360 teams, it’s harder and harder for the better mid-major teams, if you will, or non-Power Five teams, to get quality non-conference play. “


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