Now that the Big 12 Conference is back in the business of having a conference championship game, apparently the league is still searching for someone to reach their price tag. Per John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the Big 12 wants $20 million for the broadcast rights in 2019, 2021 and 2023.
FOX has already rejected the Big 12’s offer, which now means the conference can negotiate with ESPN, their other broadcast partner. The Big 12 cannot go outside FOX or ESPN, unless both pass on the deal, but there is reportedly a third network with interest in the Big 12 Championship Game.
ESPN already holds the broadcast rights in 2020, 2022 and 2024 and clearly has the upper hand in this negotiation. Since the Big 12 went without a championship game for a few years, many of the primetime slots are now full with other Power 5 title games, hence why the Big 12 has been kicking off its title game at 11 a.m. the past two seasons.
That being said, both games, between Oklahoma and TCU and then Oklahoma and Texas, have both been compelling games with a College Football Playoff berth on the line both seasons for the Sooners. Last year’s game featured the conference’s two biggest programs and featured a record 83,114 attendants for a conference title game.
If ESPN and the Big 12 are unable to agree on a price, the negotiation would head to arbitration.
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