Big 12 Rejected Oklahoma, Texas Bid to Leave Conference Early: Report
According to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, Oklahoma and Texas recently made an offer to the Big 12 and FOX to leave the conference one year early and join the SEC in 2024 but the bid was rejected.
This builds off a previous report from CBS Sports that the OU-UT move isn’t likely to happen prior to 2025 due to FOX losing significant inventory in Oklahoma and Texas, since it doesn’t have rights to the SEC brand.
Dodd reported in December that the two schools were attempting to facilitate a deal using “games for currency” to get out of the current media rights deal with the Big 12.
That idea seems to have fallen through at this point and with it, the likelihood of Oklahoma and Texas leaving early.
The issue still remains that Texas and Oklahoma are worth a whole heck of a lot to television partners (in this case, FOX) and they just won’t be getting enough back to be “made whole” it seems.
“Fox and ESPN hold the linear broadcast rights to the Big 12 through 2024-25,” Dodd writes. “ESPN owns 63% of the value from the new $2.3 billion deal that begins in 2025. As such, it gets top picks with the four best football games each season, six of the top eight, eight of the top 12 and 12 of the top 20, according to SportsBusiness Journal. Fox, which owns the remaining 37% of the deal, receives 26 games per season. It is not clear whether Fox would get access to some of those ESPN picks if a deal was struck.“
There was also speculation that the Big 12 schedule wasn’t being released because of issues with the Sooners and Longhorns, but Dodd refutes those claims.
“There was speculation that Tuesday’s release of the 2023 Big 12 schedule was connected to the Texas-Oklahoma issue,” Dodd writes. “In other words, nothing could happen until it was known when the programs would leave the league.
“Not true. The league faced a deadline of early February from their rightsholders to get the schedule done. Fox and ESPN needed to start scheduling games themselves.“
For now, it appears that Oklahoma and Texas are stuck in the Big 12 until 2025, which can’t make either of the programs happy considering they expressed the desire to leave after the conclusion of the 2023 season, but the complications are numerous and there’s not much that they can do about it at this point it seems.