Report: Big 12, ESPN near huge TV deal

After nearly being imploded the last two offseasons, the Big 12 is about to strike gold.

According to John Ourand and Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal, the conference is close to a huge television contract extension with ESPN that will help earn the league $2.5 billion over the next 13 years when coupled with its deal with Fox. The ESPN extension would run through 2025, just like the Fox deal, and help put the Big 12 among the richest of conferences in media revenue despite almost losing programs such as Texas and Oklahoma the last two years during the conference expansion and realignment rush.

With the new deal, the Big 12 would make $1.3 billion from ESPN and $1.2 billion from Fox. Each Big 12 school would make around $5 million more per year in the new ESPN deal compared to the old one. With the two deals combined, each Big 12 school will receive just under $20 million a year, while Pac-12 schools will average nearly $21 million per season.

The blockbuster deal is quite impressive considering the Big 12 lost Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC, forcing it to add TCU from the Mountain West and West Virginia from the Big East.

What this deal potentially does is put an end to talks that the Big 12 may expand back to 12 teams. This isn't exactly what fans of Louisville want to hear as the Cardinals were nearly brought into the conference before it added WVU. If a conference expands, it becomes eligible to negotiate new TV terms, and that would seem unlikely with this extension.

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