According to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, the Big 12 will begin playing football games on weekdays, including on Friday nights as part of the new media rights deal that runs through 2031.
The conference announced that it has executed its long-form agreement to extend its media rights with ESPN and FOX on Friday, making the new deal through 2030-31 officially underway.
As part of Commissioner Brett Yormark’s greater vision, the change to playing games on weekdays should come as no surprise. As the most progressive and forward-thinking commissioner since taking over the reins last summer, Yormark has done everything in his power to push the limits of what the Big 12 can do.
It’s also worth noting that the Big 12 playing games on Friday nights will cut into a television window that has previously been dominated by the Pac-12.
Is this tactic to directly cut into Pac-12 success? Not necessarily, but it could do just that. The Big 12 likely sees an opportunity to put a better product out there on Friday nights than the Pac-12 can, and it could be the only conference playing in that window before long.
With the Pac-12 pushing it’s media rights deadline back once again, there’s no telling if/when George Kliavkoff will get a deal to the table. For now, it appears that the Pac-12’s time in the Friday night spotlight could be coming to an end, leaving the Big 12 to immediately fill the void.
While it’s still too early to pronounce the Pac-12 officially dead, the conference can’t be to thrilled about this news. But, that’s just business.