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Distinctive elements of Big 12 Conference

 

Former Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds and former football coach Mack Brown, along with Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, preferred not to have a championship game. Critics argued it was a competitive advantage over other contract conferences. Conferences with a championship game have their division champions typically play one of their toughest games of the year in the last week of the regular season. Unlike the other "Power 5" conferences in which a team only plays a portion of the other teams in the conference each season, each Big 12 team plays the other nine teams during its conference schedule. This theoretically allows for the declaration of a de facto champion without the need for an additional rematch between the top two teams in the conference.

On June 3, 2016, the conference announced it would reinstate the football championship game in the 2017 season. This followed the passage of a new NCAA rule allowing all FBS conferences to hold "exempt" football championship games regardless of their membership numbers. As of 2013, out of the 115.6 million TV households nationwide there are 13,427,130 TV households in those states (11.6%), although Morgantown, West Virginia where WVU is based is in the Pittsburgh television market, which increases the Big 12's television base well into Pennsylvania, and Lawrence, Kansas, where KU is based, is in the Kansas City television market, increasing the base into western Missouri. The Big 12's share of the nation's TVs is similar to that reached by the rest of the Power Five. The conference negotiated tier 1 and 2 TV contracts with total payouts similar to those of the other Power Five conferences.

GOR is seen by league members as a "foundation of stability" and allowed the Big 12 to be "positioned with one of the best media rights arrangements in collegiate sports, providing the conference and its members unprecedented revenue growth, and sports programming over two networks." All members agreed to the GOR and later agreed to extend the initial 6-year deal to 13 years to correspond to the length of their TV contracts.

Prior to this agreement, the Big Ten and Pac-12 also had similar GOR agreements. The Big 12 subsequently assisted the ACC in drafting its GOR agreement. Four of the five major conferences now have such agreements, with the SEC the only exception.

The Big 12 is the only major conference that allows members to monetize TV rights for tier 3 events in football and men's basketball. This allows individual Big 12 member institutions to create tier 3 deals that include TV rights for one home football game and four home men's basketball games per season. Tier 3 rights exist for other sports as well, but these are not unique to the Big 12. The unique arrangement potentially allows Big 12 members to remain some of college sports' highest revenue earners. Other conferences' cable deals are subject to value reductions based on how people acquire cable programming; Big 12 schools' tier 3 deals are exempt. Texas alone will earn more than $150 million of that total from their Longhorn Network.


 



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