Bob Bowlsby, the commissioner of US college sports’ Big 12 Conference, has warned the value of its media rights could drop by 50 per cent once the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma join the Southeastern Conference.

Bowlsby has been hugely critical of the schools after their recent decision to switch conferences from 2025, and accused them of plotting the move for several months.

He also claimed ESPN was involved behind the scenes and sent a letter to the major US broadcaster accusing it of trying to “destabilise” the league.

The Big 12’s present 13-year media rights deal with ESPN and national network Fox is worth $2.6 billion.

At a hearing with a committee of Texas senators on Monday, Bowlsby said this figure would be cut in half once the American football teams Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners join the SEC.

The Big 12 distributed $345 million to its 10 members this year ($34.5 million each), down from the previous year because of the pandemic. The majority of that revenue comes from the conference’s TV deals.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Texas and Oklahoma formally accepted invitations to join the SEC earlier this week after notifying the Big 12 that they will not renew their grants of media rights beyond 2025.

The schools are not expected to officially join the SEC until 1 July, 2025 with full athletic participation in the 2025-26 academic year.