The Big 12 Conference is preparing to enter negotiations with its television partners early, according to a statement.

The league announced Wednesday morning that it is exploring an “accelerated extension” of its current multimedia rights agreements, which are set to expire following the completion of the 2024-25 academic year.

“It is an exciting time for college athletics and given the changing landscape we welcome the opportunity to engage with our partners to determine if an early extension is in the best interest of all parties,” said new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark. “The Big 12 has enjoyed a fantastic relationship with its multimedia rights holders, and I look forward to having these conversations.”

During his introductory press conference in July at Big 12 Football Media Days, Yormark made it clear that these negotiations for multimedia rights are among his top priorities in his new role, and that successful negotiations are vital to the future success of the conference.

In a recent exclusive interview for The Neal Brown Show, WVU director of athletics Shane Lyons echoed that sentiment, noting that anywhere from one-third to half of his department’s annual operating budget is directly linked to the conference’s multimedia package.

“If you look at media rights deals and the conference distributions, in addition to our own tickets sales and different things we have here on campus, fundraising and so on, that media rights deal makes up a huge chunk of our operating budget on a year-in and year-out process,” Lyons said on The Neal Brown Show.

The Big 12’s current media partners are ESPN and Fox.

The SEC recently locked in a new TV deal with ESPN, which will go into effect in 2024. That deal is reportedly valued at around $3 billion.

The Big Ten also recently announced a media partnership with CBS. That seven-year deal begins in July 2023 and is reportedly worth $7 billion.