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Fox Drops Big 12 Championship Game

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Network decides to opt out of televising the game

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas vs Oklahoma Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Big 12 Championship Game is set for Dec. 7th.

Now all they need to find is a network to carry it.

Fox has decided to not pick up its option for the 2019, 2021 and 2013 games. Money (Big 12 wanted at least $20 million per) and scheduling (Fox didn’t want to compete against ACC or SEC games) are the reasons most mentioned for Fox bowing out.

This year’s game (Texas vs. OU) was a big hit for ABC, getting 10.2 million to tune in at 11:00 AM in the morning on December 1st. But the two previous games — on Fox — didn’t come close to that. The 2016 game (OU vs. Oklahoma St.) had 4.8 million viewers, while in 2017 5.9 million tuned in for OU vs. TCU)

ESPN has the right of first refusal, and it remains to be seen if they will accept the $20 million mark. The game could be on either ESPN or ABC - perhaps depending on whose in it.

But of course it looks like you will need a Texas-OU match to be able to make the $20 million price tag affordable.

This appears to be yet another “Canary in the Coal Mine” for the long-term survival of the Big 12. The league is a mile wide and 6 feet deep, in terms of being a media draw.

That’s what can happen when almost 70% of all the TV households in your conference reside in one state.