Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby discusses conference divisions, Texas and Oklahoma, TV contracts

Senior Large 12 officers visited Provo for first time since convention enlargement.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Younger College athletic director Tom Holmoe, proper, is joined remotely by Large 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, proper for the announcement of BYU’s acceptance into the Large 12 convention at a press convention in Provo, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.

The Large 12 Convention is in transition because it prepares for the arrival of 4 new member colleges, together with BYU.

This summer season will probably be stuffed by member establishments agreeing to new bylaws, finalizing schedules and negotiating new tv contracts. It should additionally embrace extra particulars on when Texas and Oklahoma plan to go away the convention; both earlier than or after the 2025 season.

Large 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby visited BYU in individual on Friday for the primary time because the convention expanded. Throughout an interview with BYUtv, he addressed various these subjects whereas in Provo.

Finalizing scheduling

Maybe one of the crucial tough elements of BYU’s transition to the Large 12 has been scheduling. As a present impartial, BYU should take away or reschedule eight-or-nine video games a 12 months via the 2026-27 season to make room for a convention slate.

As a complete, the Large 12 can be experiencing a logistical hardship with scheduling. Bowlsby expects the convention to have 14 members in 2023 — together with SEC-bound Texas and Oklahoma. This implies taking part in a round-robin schedule, the place every staff performs each other, is out of the query.

Bowlsby sees the convention breaking into divisions in soccer to take care of the big variety of colleges. On the Large 12 conferences in Las Vegas final month, convention officers mentioned the potential for two, seven-team divisions. The winner of every division would then play one another for the convention title on the finish of the common season.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if we performed divisions in soccer,” Bowlsby mentioned, noting basketball scheduling might not function divisions.

Athletic administrators from every college will get collectively this summer season to vote on having divisions, and what these divisions can be. Large 12 senior affiliate commissioner Ed Stewart mentioned final month these divisions might both be break up up by geography or by stage of competitors. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe mentioned he doesn’t have a choice.

Past that, one other consideration is that if the Large 12 will undertake an eight-game convention schedule or 9 video games.

“I believe the standard of our convention is nice sufficient [to play nine games],” Bowlsby mentioned. “That’s a invaluable factor for us. You need to decrease the variety of no performs you’ve.”

The Large 12 will launch its 2023 schedule, tentatively, in October.

Going to courtroom over Texas and Oklahoma?

Texas and Oklahoma’s departure to the SEC set off the Large 12′s enlargement. Now, it’s a ready recreation to see when the 2 colleges will depart the convention.

Proper now, each colleges are contractually obligated to remain for the following 4 years. However there have been various studies indicating they might depart earlier than the 2023 season.

Bowlsby is anticipating each establishments to remain via 2025. He pointed to the media rights contract — that Texas and Oklahoma signed — which runs via the 2025 season.

He additionally pointed to the convention bylaws, which state if a college leaves early, it should pay two years value of income again to the convention earlier than it leaves. It might imply Texas and Oklahoma must pay round $75 million to the convention respectively.

“I count on them to be right here via 2025. Whether or not that occurs or not, I don’t know,” Bowlsby mentioned. “I suppose that there might be bumps within the street alongside the best way. However they’ve advised us they’re going to be right here and we count on that they’ll be right here.”

Bowlsby talked about the courtroom system as a possible treatment if both college tries to go away earlier than 2025. The media rights contract is centered across the federal copyright legislation. So, a breach in contract might be heard in federal courtroom.

“We really feel like now we have fairly good legislation on our facet,” Bowlsby mentioned.

A brand new media contract

The media contract with Fox and ESPN runs via the 2024-25 season for the Large 12. This summer season, the convention will begin planning forward to see the place it can lend its media rights sooner or later.

Bowlsby indicated the convention is open to leaving Fox and ESPN for a special firm. The Large 12 received’t essentially field itself to solely linear networks. It’s also streaming choices because the media panorama modifications.

The Large 12 was the primary convention to place over 100 video games on ESPN+, a streaming platform.

“It’s slightly little bit of a brand new day,” he mentioned. “And we have to negotiate in ways in which mirror it.”

Bowlsby sees worth in streaming soccer, and reside sports activities, on conventional cable channels. Soccer generates about 80% of the income for the Large 12.

“Proudly owning reside sports activities is an effective factor,” Bowlsby mentioned. “[Linear channels are] all the time going to be invaluable. [They] simply match in a different way than they’ve up to now. We’ll welcome a bunch of suitors on the market and I believe we’ll do nicely when it’s time to go to public sale.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.