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Report: Fox blocking Texas, Oklahoma early move to SEC

Steve Sarkisian in Texas gear

Sep 3, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian before the game against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks in the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Texas and Oklahoma are set to leave the Big 12 for the SEC ahead of the 2025 college football season, but the major programs would love to join the SEC sooner than that. Apparently one TV network isn’t such a big fan of that plan.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd says that FOX would have wanted some compensation if Texas and Oklahoma were to leave the Big 12 a year earlier than scheduled.

Dodd reports that “Fox would likely have demanded a return to make its future programming whole, including a top-tier selection of games years into the future given the marquee programs would have left its airwaves early.”

FOX and ESPN currently share Big 12 TV rights. ESPN will be the exclusive home of the SEC beginning in 2025, which is when the programs are set to join the super conference.

TV networks asking for programming in return for cutting deals with their competitors is not unusual. When Joe Buck exited his FOX contract a year early to join ESPN, FOX received an early-season Big Ten college football game to air as compensation. It’s no surprise that FOX would want some serious TV consideration in return for losing those marquee programs early.

While the SEC and Big Ten have solidified their media rights deals, the Big 12 and Pac-12 are working on their deals. The two conferences are seemingly engaged in a turf and survival war since USC and UCLA are leaving the Pac-12, while the Big 12 is losing the Longhorns and Sooners. The Big 12 is in no hurry to lose those programs.

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