Much of the reporting on the financial conditions required to ensure the survival of the Big 12 has centered on potential buyout penalties to be paid out to remaining members of the conference by Nebraska and Colorado.
(Not one nickel)
Multiple outlets have reported that Nebraska and Colorado will be required to pay the league between $6 and $10 million for the privilege of leaving the league. It has also been widely reported that as part of the negotiation to keep the league alive, the Big 12’s five have-not schools agreed to hand over that alleged NU and CU buyout money to Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas.
Sounds like a plan! If only it wasn’t completely untrue.
As noted by Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman this week, there is no existing Big 12 bylaw that states that teams departing from the league must pay out a penalty fee to remaining conference members.
Perlman noted on KLIN-AM in Lincoln yesterday that, “there is a liquidated damages provision that purports to make the existing members whole,” but that there is no pre-designated charge for leaving the conference.
That doesn’t mean though that there isn’t something in the Big 12 bylaws that will injure NU and CU financially. There is. And it’s the reason both schools are in such a mad dash to escape the league.
The best-kept secret at AOL Fanhouse, Jon Weinbach, has previously unreported details about the television negotiation that prevented the Big 12 from disintegrating.
Several outlets have reported that ESPN and Fox, whose Big 12 TV contracts expire in 2016 and 2012, respectively, agreed to significantly higher payments in order to keep Texas in the Big 12 and secure the conference’s future. But a person familiar with the conference’s negotiations said “reports of a new TV deal between Fox and the Big 12 are inaccurate.”
A television network executive with knowledge of the negotiations also confirmed to me today that ESPN did not dump any more money into its existing deal with the Big 12. I was told that the key role played ESPN was that the network agreed not reduce to its financial commitment to the Big 12 despite two schools leaving the league.
ESPN’s financial contribution to the deal merely remained static, which means that a larger amount of revenue from the ESPN deal now goes to each of the 10 remaining Big 12 schools.
Weinbach also has previously unreported details on what motivated Fox to maintain its longterm relationship with the Big 12, effectively killing the proposed Pac-16 TV deal which was - ironically - authored the Fox. Read more…
A confidential white paper obtained by Andy Staples of the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED via the Freedom of Information Act shows that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe foresaw - as early as June 1 - that the Big Ten and Pac-10 could attempt to raid his conference.
In a document dated June 1 and sent by the commissioner to top officials at each Big 12 school, Beebe outlined why it was in the best interest of those schools to remain in Beebe’s conference.
The paper reveals that part of Beebe’s plea to Big 12 membership involved disparaging the Big Ten and Pac-10.
Chuck Carlton of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports Monday that Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott has confirmed that Texas has turned down an invitation from the conference. Texas has also confirmed the news on its official sports website.
That signals that the Big 12 Conference will - for now - remain intact with 10 teams.
Carlton reports factors that apparently contributed to the Big 12 staying together:
Under Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe’s plan, Texas would see a sharp increase in revenue under a new cable TV right deal with Fox Sports.
Because of the Big 12’s revenue sharing formula, Texas would probably make more than the $17 million average, perhaps close to $20 million. The Longhorns would also be allowed to form their own network, something that would not be allowed in the Pac-10.
A source said the network could eventually produce up to $5 million in revenue based on projections, which would likely bring Texas more money than a move to the Pac-10.
Another reason the conference remained intact was team travel, especially without the possibility of Texas A&M, despite the Pac-10’s hope to focus on divisional travel and avoid numerous distant road trips to the Northwest.
What’s interesting about the supposed new Fox Sports cable deal with the Big 12 is that Fox was also reportedly heavily involved in the Pac-10’s bid to get the Texas and Oklahoma schools from the Big 12.
The revenue jump offered by a Fox Sports TV package reportedly was the biggest reason why Texas was entertaining going to the Pac-10. So with that in mind, why would Fox pony up the cash to the Big 12 in a deal that would seal the demise of the same Pac-16 deal it reportedly proposed? Read more…