Pollard claims deal amps up ISU exposure
Contract could increase games for Cyclones teams, especially if they improve.
Iowa State's men's basketball team will get more national exposure from the Big 12 Conference's new eight-year television rights contract with ABC/ESPN, athletic director Jamie Pollard said Thursday.
"It's a great deal for the Big 12 and for Iowa State," Pollard said after conference and television network officials announced the deal. "It gives us added exposure, especially in basketball and extends our strong relationship with two of the most recognized sports networks in the country."
Pollard said that the deal would increase what the Cyclones receive in conference television distribution money, but couldn't say how much. Iowa State received $3.8 million last year from the conference.
"It's premature to make an estimate because there are too many variables involved, including whether we want to change how we distribute the money," Pollard said, adding that Iowa State has received 7.3 percent of all television money distributed by the conference since its establishment 11 years ago.
Conference television money is distributed annually out of two pools - one is shared equally among the 12 schools; the other is distributed based on the number of television appearances each school makes.
Conference officials hailed the new deal, which will go into effect with the 2008-09 academic year, as a major step toward putting Big 12 schools on the national stage in both football and men's basketball and providing a substantial financial revenue stream for all schools through 2015-16.
Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Kevin Weiberg, conference commissioner, said that the deal would generate in excess of $100 million - the amount now received under the conference's current contracts with Fox Sports Net as well as ABC/ESPN.
Weiberg also said that officials considered establishment of a network similar to the Big Ten Network, but opted instead to strengthen its ties with ABC and ESPN. Weiberg said that a network still could be established at some point, but that a strong agreement with an established partner appeared to provide the most stability and exposure.
Pollard said he considered the new contract an enhancement for Iowa State football, but also acknowledged that the Cyclones will have to get better on the field to get more national exposure under the new television contract.
"That's a fair characterization," Pollard said. "It will be dictated on how good we are and aren't."
But Pollard said that the Big 12's separate contract with Fox Sports Network could result in more games getting telecast.
He said that the Fox cable contract, which runs through 2011, allows the network to increase the number of games that it telecasts. In addition, Big 12 and Fox officials are looking for a network to replace TBS, which has dropped its seven-game schedule for next season to telecast the Major League Baseball playoffs.
"Fox, since they decided to do the Bowl Championship Series games, has shown a keen interest in getting more and more into college football," Pollard said. "They did seven or eight more Big 12 games than they did the previous year and so they are continuing to look at it."
Pollard also said that he agreed with the decision not to form an independent network because there are "just too many unknowns."
"I have great respect for concept of a network and the Big Ten's decision," Pollard said. "But this is an 11-year-old league and we decided that there were too many unknowns for us to tackle it right now."
Re: Pollard claims deal amps up ISU exposure
is there still going to be the rule that no other Big XII game can be televised at the same time ?....