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Big 12 / College News
It is not known how many other universities, if any, have had similar meetings. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was in New York and unavailable to speak Monday with Sporting News.
Expansion is a complicated matter for the Big 12 because its television contracts, signed with ESPN and Fox in 2012, are scheduled to run through the 2024-25 season. Such deals have been renegotiated in the past with other conferences; in some cases, it was believed the opportunity to reopen television contracts was a motivation for leagues to pursue expansion.
However, aside from Notre Dame – which already declined an opportunity to join the Big 12 and instead chose the ACC – there is no potential member outside of the current “Power 5” conferences whose appeal would lead either network to add substantially to the current Big 12 contracts.
BYU is independent and has a considerable following and already has an ESPN deal through 2018 believed to pay the school in the neighborhood of $1 million for every televised home football game. If the Cougars desired more defined access to the football playoff, it is possible ESPN would make some minor adjustments to its contracts with the Big 12.
TSN Mike DeCourcy
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