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Big 12 Selling to Private Equity?

+6 HS
Lighteyes's picture
June 13, 2024 at 1:22pm

Very recent report that the Big 12 is considering selling a 20% stake in the league to a private equity firm. Still needs approval by the league presidents, but you have to get pretty far down the road for this story to break.

If I was a fan of a Big 12 team, I would be pretty worried about this. On the plus side, it would bring the leagues much closer to financial parity with the SEC/B1G; rather than the current fiscal state where there's really a Power 2, then a sizable drop to Big 12/ACC (and then an even bigger drop to the G5 conferences). And there's probably a case that you have to be more worried about "can we keep the Big 12 relevant right now" before you can worry about any long-term problems.

But on the minus side...well, let's just note that private equity is rarely interested in truly long-term plays. It's almost a meme at this point about how often private equity firms extract as much value as they can over a few years, then bail out and leave a much-less valuable and crippled organization behind. Of course, you can point to how much TV networks already run the sport (SECSPN), but those TV networks at least have a core business interest in keeping college football as a viable product for decades, whereas to a private equity firm, it's all about what makes the most money for the time you hold it.

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