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Big Fox will do wonders for Big 12 football

BERRY TRAMEL COMMENTARY: Big Fox has given the Big 12 a national platform to showcase its football games. Hope are that Big Fox can be to the Big 12 what CBS was to the SEC.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 27, 2012

The reason for the weak numbers is clear. Many fans don't yet know that Big Fox is an option.

You scroll through ABC, the ESPNs, Fox Sports Net and any other channel that's been showing college football for years. If you don't have a list in front of you, a game can get lost.

Big Fox will need time to imprint its brand on Saturday night.

“This is a big deal for us,” said Big Fox analyst Charles Davis, who was in Norman last week and will be in Stillwater this week. “When you think of college football, you haven't thought of Fox on a week by week basis.

“Having a game every single week, on a national deal, that allows people to think of us. ‘If I'm going to watch a game, let's see what Fox has to offer.'”

It can't hurt that Big Fox has offered up three straight weeks of big-time upsets. UCLA over Nebraska. Stanford over SC. K-State over OU.

Let's not pretend that Big Fox has the cachet of ESPN. The new Big 12 contract gives the conference greater access to ESPN, and that's always a good thing. ESPN drives the boat in American sports promotion.

But one of the downsides to ESPN is that every league is affiliated with ESPN. Conferences have to share the megaphone.

That's why the SEC has had a great marketing advantage over the years. ESPN talks incessantly about the SEC because of its great football, then SEC gets the plush national-TV window on CBS. Now the Big 12, with Big Fox, gets some of that bounty.

Erin Andrews hosts Big Fox's studio show, a plum catch for Big Fox considering her popularity at ESPN. Play-by-play man Gus Johnson is a basketball icon. Davis is a charming Tennessee Volunteer who does his homework – last week at a virtual OU pep rally, he trotted out the name Jim Tatum.

“When Fox decided to make the commitment all out to college football, they demonstrated it not just by money paid out, not just clearing Saturday evenings for our window, they went out and got people that are some of the best in the business,” Davis said, referring to Johnson and Andrews.

“I'm just happy to ride shotgun in this bad boy.”

We're happy to have you here in Big 12 country. Welcome aboard, Big Fox.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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