Fox Sports Network is close to selling some of its Big 12 Saturday night football games to rival ESPN in an unprecedented deal that would result in wider national exposure for the conference.
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said negotiations are heating up between the two competing sports networks to find a place for a package of six Big 12 games that have been carried at 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Turner Broadcasting System has showed those games in recent seasons under a sub-licensing agreement with Fox.
The expansion would represent a victory for Dodds, who has been working on ways to get more of the country watching Big 12 games.
"I worried about the package (of Big 12 games) when most of them were regional games with a small part of the country," Dodds said. "I like national television. The Southeastern Conference has that with CBS. Notre Dame has it with NBC. We'd like to get more of it. I would count on it happening."
Edit: I just had a not so good thought about this. Last year, ESPN was putting some of their games invovling nationally ranked teams on ESPNU, this was done to get ESPNU into more homes, I sure as hell hope that if this happens, that ESPN doesn't stick Big 12 games on ESPNU.
Fox Sports Net agreed Tuesday to sub-license the rights to broadcast five Big 12 football games in 2007 to ESPN.
"It's not insignificant that two companies that are major competitors have come together to help us here," Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg said. "It helps round out our national television exposure for football."
Previously, Big 12 football on Saturday nights was carried by FSN and TBS. When TBS won the rights to show major league baseball playoffs, the network immediately dropped out of the college football market.
Wonder how much of this has to do with the big10 network. ESPN has to be losing some games to that, so maybe the big12 could hop in for sloppy seconds on that one. Let me be on record that I am fine with that, at least we have *some* chance of ever seeing an away game.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin 1775
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