A comparison: Conference television deals

March, 19, 2013
The former Big East and ESPN have announced they’ve reached an agreement on a new television contract. According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy it’ll be worth $126 million over seven years.

Football in the former Big East conference continues to be paid under the previous ESPN deal through the 2013-14 season. Basketball, however, will fall under the new contract for the 2013-14 season. Prior to the Catholic 7 reaching an agreement to split from the football schools this summer, the deal was reported to pay $4 million extra for 2013-14. However, without those schools playing basketball in the conference next season, sources have told McMurphy the final deal was reduced.

From 2014-15 through the 2019-2020 school year, the former Big East is expected to receive $20 million annually for both football and basketball. Sources are also reporting the former Big East is nearing a new deal with CBS for select basketball games that will pay approximately $2 million per year.

With all of the shuffling and extensions, it can be hard to keep up. Here’s a listing, according to information from ESPN, The Associated Press, SportsBusiness Daily, SportsBusiness Journal and Adweek, of where things stand now. Also, per-year averages and per-school, per-year averages are straight averages and do not take into account actual variances by year as stipulated in individual contracts.

BIG 12

First- and second-tier rights: $2.6 billion, ESPN/FOX, 13 years through 2024-25
Per-year average: $200 million
Per-school, per-year average: $20 million


First- and second-tier rights: $3 billion, ESPN/FOX, 12 years through 2023-24
Per-year average: $250 million
Per-school, per-year average: $20.8 million


First-tier rights: $825 million, CBS, 15 years through 2023-24 (negotiations ongoing)
Second-tier rights: $2.25 billion, ESPN, 15 years through 2023-24 (negotiations ongoing)
Per-year average: $205 million (negotiations ongoing)
Per-school, per-year average: $14.6 million (negotiations ongoing)


First-tier rights: $1 billion, ESPN, 10 years through 2016-17
Second-tier rights: $2.8 billion, Big Ten Network, 25 years through 2031-32
Select basketball rights: (minimum of 24 games, men’s tournament semifinal and championship games): $72 million, CBS, six years through 2016-17
Football championship game: $145 million, FOX, six years through 2016
Per-year average: $248.2 million
Per-school, per-pear average: $20.7 million


First-, second- and third-tier rights: $3.6 billion, ESPN, 15 years through 2026-27
Per-year average: $240 million
Per-school, per-year average: $17.1 million


First-tier rights: $126 million, ESPN, seven years for basketball (2013-2020); six years for football (2014-2020)
Second-tier rights: Basketball, $54 million, CBS, six years through 2012-13 (negotiations ongoing)

Some important notes:

• No per-year average or per-school, per-year average has been calculated for the Big East, because it does not make public its revenue-sharing method between football-only members and full members.

• SEC commissioner Mike Slive has confirmed the conference has been in negotiations with ESPN and CBS since adding Texas A&M and Missouri as members, but no extensions or new terms have been announced by the conference or networks at this time.

• A number of these contracts have escalator clauses, including the Pac-12 contract. In the early years of that contract, it will be $180 million per year (or $15 million per school) and in the later years it escalates, according to statements made by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott via conference call following the contract’s announcement.

• Deals for third-tier rights vary by conference. Some third-tier rights are bundled by conferences and sold to regional networks while others are retained by schools and sold individually to local or regional networks. For example, Pac-12 schools have pledged their third-tier rights to the upcoming Pac-12 Network, while the University of Texas has granted third-tier rights to The Longhorn Network, a partnership between ESPN, IMG and the university.

Kristi Dosh

Sports Business
Dosh covers sports business for ESPN. She is an attorney, founder of BusinessOfCollegeSports.com, and joined ESPN in October 2011.
Author of "Saturday Millionaires: How winning football builds winning colleges."



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