College Sport

Sources: Talks fizzle over early OU, Texas jump

Negotiations to leave Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12 a year early and join the SEC in 2024 stalled and the deal is not expected to materialize, sources told Sportzshala on Friday morning.

After weeks of negotiations, Texas and Oklahoma are still due to join the SEC in 2025. Sources said the parties were unable to reach an agreement due to complex negotiations involving two schools, two networks (Sportzshala and Fox) and the Big 12.

The parties have been unable to agree on how to create the fair value of what Fox will lose in 2024 — the equivalent of seven football games involving Oklahoma and Texas that require premium advertising, sources said.

Talks have heated up over the past few days, with the Big 12 meetings later this week being the unofficial deadline for a deal.

The game schedule — the 2024 season — leaves some uncertainty and little potential for a Hail Mary revival, but strong expectations remain that Oklahoma and Texas will play in the Big 12 of 14 teams in 2023 and 2024.

“There is no formal timeline or line that you can’t come back from,” an industry source said. “But that’s where things are now – a deal is unlikely.”

Ever since Oklahoma and Texas agreed to join the SEC in the summer of 2021, debate has flared up about whether they can leave the Big 12 early. Schools are contractually obligated to play in the 2024 football season, spanning four full seasons since the decision to switch conferences. In the recent history of conference reorganizations, this is an unprecedented amount of time to play the part of an outgoing member.

It was always unlikely that they would leave before the final year of the deal, 2024, as scheduling dynamics, the cost of leaving, and the structure of TV contracts made any faster moves awkward. But since Sportzshala holds full rights to the SEC starting in 2024, there was always an opportunity to strike a deal a year earlier.

Instead, Oklahoma and Texas must play the final seasons of their Big 12 contracts.


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