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New Big 12 Media Deal Could Be Done Soon, Valued Around $400M

“If I’m them, I want to box out those others – I don’t want Amazon to have a chance at this.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The Big 12 and Pac-12 are both currently jockeying to be the next power five conference to ink a new media rights deal. While the Pac-12 is currently entertaining offers from all comers, the Big 12 is still working with ESPN and FOX to get a new agreement done.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, the Big 12 is on track to have a new deal signed soon.

But with Oklahoma and Texas soon to join the SEC, the Big 12 will be without its two anchor institutions. Still, conference commissioner Brett Yormark said recently that the move by the Sooners and Longhorns won’t have any bearing on the value of the next media rights deal.

“Getting back to the TV negotiations, I know the media has stated that with the loss of Texas and Oklahoma our number would go backwards,” Yormark said. “Let me say it very clearly, we’re not going backwards. And we’re not staying flat.”

Marchand thinks the new deal will be worth $400 million. With the conference expanding and picking up new members to replace Oklahoma and Texas, the potential for a new deal to be worth more in the future is high. But Marchand said recently on his podcast with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal that it would behoove ESPN to get a deal done now to save some money and not have to compete with the likes of Amazon or Apple.

“If I’m ESPN, and to a lesser degree FOX, I’m being a little more aggressive,” Marchand said. “If I’m them, I want to box out those others – I don’t want Amazon to have a chance at this. Let them have the PAC-12 and let that go into oblivion. If I’m ESPN, is it going to cost me more in a year and half than it does now? I would say it would cost you more. So, pay a little bit more than you probably want right now, it probably makes sense.”

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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