The Big 12 is making progress on scoring a new media deal.
The conference is currently in a race against PAC-12 to score a new media deal with ESPN and Fox, and it sounds like progress is being made. The current deal ends at the end of 2024, but it sounds like the Big 12 might get something done sooner.
“I’ve had meaningful conversations with ESPN and with Fox over the last 30 days about do we accelerate that, do we think about doing something now,” conference commissioner Brett Yormark told Forbes during a Wednesday interview.
“Those conversations are ongoing. Whether we get to an early deal or not, I don’t know … If I can’t get a deal done with them, we’ll just wait until February ‘24, but we’ve had great conversations over the last 30 days. I think both realize the potential of this conference, they want to be partners as we build our brands and we’ll see whether we can get to an early extension or not,” Yormark further explained.
Why is it important for the Big 12 to get a deal done as quickly as possible?
Right now, George Kliavkoff’s conference appears to possibly be on the brink of collapse. USC and UCLA are leaving for the Big Ten in 2024, and it’s possible more teams will follow.
The conference run George Kliavkoff also appears to be unable to lock down a new deal. That’s where the Big 12 scoring a new media deal might turn into a huge problem.
If more teams bolt to the B1G and the Big 12 has a new media deal locked down, Yormark can go to Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah and attempt to poach them. That’s a lot easier with a new media deal in place.
While it’s unknown how much a new media deal might be worth, it’s hard to imagine it’ll be less than anything the PAC-12 might get. After all, we don’t even know who will be in the PAC-12 in a few years. That makes it very unlikely any major network offers a ton of cash. It’s simply too unstable.
Right now, it certainly seems like the Big 12 is in a good spot. The biggest question comes down to whether or not the conference can get a deal done before George Kliavkoff can. That remains to be seen, but it looks like momentum is building for a positive outcome.