Report: Fox, ESPN not thrilled with Big 12 expansion plans

One of the most discussed topics in college football leading up to the 2016 season is expansion of the Big 12. The conference has begun looking at potential suitors for expansion and could welcome up to four new teams in time for the 2017 season.

But while the talks of expansion have generated some buzz and excitement, television networks don’t appear to have the same tingly feelings.

According to a report from John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal on Monday, it was stated that FOX and ESPN are not exactly thrilled with the talks of expansion because it could water down the product of the league, making it less valuable.

Add in the fact that the networks would have to pay a combined $20 million per school and there are obvious concerns.

Why pay more for a watered down product? Why pay more for a league that could throw off its competitive balance? The conference currently holds a deal with FOX and ESPN until 2025, so if there is some smoke to this fire, we could see networks walk away from talks about renewing their deal.

Could this end up influencing the Big 12’s decision to expand or play a part in how many new teams join the conference? I guess we will have to stay tuned.

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Video: Michigan State’s Mike Sadler tribute from celebration ceremony
Video: Michigan State’s Mike Sadler tribute from celebration ceremony