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FOX Must be Compensated If Texas, Oklahoma Leave Big 12 Before 2025

“It’s been reported that part of that compensation could include the Sooners and Longhorns playing Big 12 opponents on the road in non-conference games once they’ve joined the SEC.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Is the 2023-24 season for Texas and Oklahoma their last as members of the Big 12? It’s possible.

But if there’s going to be an agreement on the two schools making the transition to the SEC a year early, both the Sooners and Longhorns would be subject to exit fees and forfeiture of their media rights distribution money for 2024-25. That’s according to reporting from Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports.

FOX would also need to be compensated for Oklahoma and Texas bailing on the final year of the Big 12’s current media rights deal. It’s been reported that part of that compensation could include the Sooners and Longhorns playing Big 12 opponents on the road in non-conference games once they’ve joined the SEC.

A portion of the money paid back to the conference for an early exit would go back to Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia, which saw a 19% cut ($16 million) in their media money over the next two years as part of bringing in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF as members starting this year. Big 12 schools receive 42.6 million annually under the current deal.

The conference begins a new media rights deal in 2025-26.

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Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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