ESPN right for Big 12 deal


NEW YORK -- ESPN and the Big 12 said Thursday that they have struck a new eight-year multiplatform rights deal beginning in 2008.

The pact calls for the right to pick from 19 exclusive Big 12 football games on ESPN's television and Web services. These include exclusive Big 12 games for ABC during the regular season and the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship. It also includes the first selection among 95 men's basketball games every year.

In football, ABC will have first pick of 19 games that include primetime and the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship, and ESPN has entitlement rights to the conference championship. ESPN GamePlan also will have out-of-market telecasts of Big 12 games available via pay-per-view.

In men's basketball, ESPN and ESPN2 have exclusive national cable rights to a weekly Wednesday game on ESPN2 and games on ESPN on Monday and Saturday on either ESPN or ESPN2. ESPNU and will carry 20 exclusive conference games; ESPNU will have a weekly Big 12 show. The Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship will be carried on ESPN's networks and Web sites including the conference championship on ESPN.

ESPN and ESPN2 will carry six Big 12 events in women's basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling and volleyball plus ESPNU will carry as many as 25 each year.

The Big 12 conference comprises Baylor University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Iowa State University, University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Texas-Austin, Texas A&M and Texas Tech University.