An announcement is on the horizon folks, one that will greatly affect West Virginia University for years to come. It is believed that ABC/ESPN and Fox have signed a $2.6 billion dollar media rights deal with the Big XII Conference. Do the math: that will translate to about $200 a year/$20 million per school. That is a tad bit less than what teams in the Pac-12 are receiving, yet still higher than both the SEC and ACC.
Granted, WVU will not receive the full allottment up front, for this money is being used to pay down the debt owed to the Big XII for helping pay the Big East buyout. Regardless, this adds stability to the conference as a whole, for the contract contains a “grant of rights” clause. The clause states that any school looking to leave the conference will surrender any revenue they earn from the TV rights to the Big XII, essentially placing the ten current members in lockdown.
As an added noted, the ABC/ESPN and Fox networks will work together in broadcasting the league’s football games; however, the contract grants ABC/ESPN sole possession of Big XII basketball rights. If one were to look across other conferences, he/she would realize only the Big XII and Pac-12 have exclusive tv deals with more than one national network at the same time. This current deal is to run through the 2024-2025 scholastic calendar; no word on any provisions concerning new school conference membership. That information will be conveyed if it is made public.
It truly is “a great day to be a Mountaineer, wherever you may be!”