As the landscape of college sports continues its evolution, word of yet another massive TV contract came down on Sunday. According to the Sports Business Journal, the Big 12 Conference struck a deal with ESPN and Fox Sports on a six-year media rights agreement. The deal is reportedly worth $2.28 billion and an average of $380 million in annual revenue, set to run through 2030-31. Though the Big 12 does have two years left on their current television contract, this deal goes a long way in earning a good chunk of viewership for the conference.

The Big 12 was founded in 1994 and began conference play in 1996. Next year, the Big 12 will add four new schools (BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF) into the mix, on top of notable schools like West Virginia, TCU, and Kansas. While the impending losses of Texas and Oklahoma, two long-time stalwarts set to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2025, are less than ideal, new conference commissioner Brett Yormark’s execution of this deal with ESPN and Fox Sports jockeys the Big 12 in a unique position relative to other conferences.

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Per the report, the Big 12 will return to the TV negotiation market before the SEC, and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), whose deals with ESPN expire in 2034 and 2036, respectively. Between the more than 70% increase in annual revenue and the clever timing of the expiration of their new deal, the Big 12’s savvy maneuvering is quite admirable. These factors will appeal to prospective schools interested in joining the conference as the mass realignment of college sports unfolds.