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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Big 12 Conference and Fox Sports Media Group Announce Landmark 13-Year Rights Agreement

The Big 12 Conference and Fox Sports Media Group have reached a 13-year agreement for exclusive cable rights to 40 football games per season, as well as to a variety of Olympic sports events and Conference championships.

The new pact, which takes effect with the 2012 football season, grants Fox Sports the exclusive cable rights to a minimum of 40 regular-season Big 12 football games—nearly double the number under its current agreement. Many of the telecasts will be distributed on FSN, which reaches over 85 million homes through two dozen owned and affiliated networks. Several other games will also be scheduled on FX, one of the most-watched cable networks in the country, now available in more than 99 million households, as part of its recently announced new college football game of the week. Fox also has similar cable exclusivity for a minimum of 40 Olympic sports events, including Conference championship events and women’s basketball. The agreement also includes comprehensive multimedia rights to allow Fox to maximize online, mobile, and wireless opportunities for its Big 12 content.

“This landmark agreement positions the Conference with one of the best television arrangements in collegiate sports,” said Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe. “It exceeds the benchmarks as we move forward with our 10 members by providing significant revenue growth, increased exposure while allowing institutions to retain selected rights. Most importantly, the agreement signifies the long-term commitment of the member institutions to one another. The Conference is delighted to continue its partnership with Fox and build on the momentum the FSN network has generated for the Big 12 brand through our first 15 years. We are excited about extending our presence on other FOX platforms, especially on FX, a top cable network.”

“This agreement extends our relationship with a valued long-time partner and ensures that Fox Sports will have an incredibly strong college football slate to offer viewers well into the next decade,” said Randy Freer, President of FOX Sports Networks.

“These 10 universities in the center of America stand together in their commitment,” University of Missouri Chancellor and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors Chairman Brady Deaton said. “The Big 12 will generate per member television revenue at competitive levels of college athletics, while at the same time increasing exposure for our programs on national and regional platforms, and providing for comprehensive institutional rights retention.”

“Dating back to last summer, the 10 continuing members of the Big 12 Conference were convinced that we had a very special future and there was a place in the collegiate marketplace for a major 10-team conference,” said Joe Castiglione, University of Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics, who also serves as chair of the Conference’s AD group. “We knew that a format that

crowned true champions through head-to-head competition would be beneficial to the Conference, our fans and media partners.”
When the agreement takes effect in the 2012-13 academic year, every Big 12 home football game will be broadcast on ABC, a FOX network, or by institutional platforms. Big 12 schools will have the option to retain rights to one home football game per season for distribution via institutional platforms. In all other sports, institutions will retain the rights to all home contests not selected for broadcast by ABC/ESPN or FOX Sports.

The Conference continues its long standing partnership with ABC/ESPN for its over-the-air Big 12 football and men’s basketball rights, including the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship. The league’s current ABC/ESPN agreement runs through 2015-16.

With its new Big 12 agreement in place, Fox Sports Media Group now boasts the most comprehensive portfolio of college product in the country, with nearly 2,000 marquee events showcased through national and regional platforms, including FOX Sports, FSN, the Big Ten Network, and FOX College Sports. The Big 12 solidifies Fox Sports’ impressive roster of conference partners that includes Conference USA, ACC, Pac-10 and SEC.

About FOX Sports Media Group

FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple websites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and Fox College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com and scout.com, reaching over 20 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are Fox’s interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network, FOX Sports Skybox restaurants and FOX Sports Grills.

About the Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech – beginning July 1, 2011. The Big 12 is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics conference that encompasses five states with over 40 million people within its geographic footprint. More than 4,100 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually in the 23 sports sponsored by the Conference.

- Big12Sports.com -


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