Big 12 grant of rights deal in 'late stages'

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was back in his home state on Tuesday, and told reporters at a news conference in Ames, Iowa, that the league's new television deal is nearly finished.

Part of that deal is a 13-year grant-of-rights agreement as well, which surrenders each team's media revenue to the conference for the duration of the contract.

"We don’t have it all signed, yet,” Bowlsby told reporters. "Of course, when I was in the Big Ten, we went almost three years without a signed contract with ABC.

"I expect we will get (a Big 12 deal) wrapped up much quicker than three years."

It's no cause for concern yet, but Bowlsby's comments this week don't sound much more advanced than the same ones he told me and a few others after his news conference to announce his arrival as Big 12 commissioner this summer.

It's been a few months since then, but a deal's still not done. I don't have any real doubts that it eventually will, but I have to think it's taken a little longer than Bowlsby and everyone involved believed it would.

The deal is reportedly worth $2.6 billion over 13 years.

Every time anyone comments publicly on the deal, it sounds like it's almost finished. And yet, it's still not. Odd.

"It’s a 10-way contract," Bowlsby said, "that 10 presidents and 10 general counsels and 10 athletic directors have to get comfortable with. So, we’re doing a collective word-smithing process right now that is not particularly efficient, but it will eventually result in a good outcome."