Soon after the Big 12 Conference announced Wednesday morning that it will begin talks regarding its next media rights deal, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported that as a result, Texas and Oklahoma could leave the conference for the SEC earlier than the expected target of 2025.

“Emphasizing the urgency of the proceedings, active conversations are ongoing as the Big 12 considers allowing Oklahoma and Texas to leave the conference early for the SEC, CBS Sports has learned,” Dodd wrote. “The two schools are bound to the Big 12 via their media rights deal for three more seasons.”

Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported that 2024 could be a possible time for the two schools to make the move.

Dodd wrote that if it were to happen, “Fox would likely have to be made whole financially because of the loss of the two lucrative TV ratings winners prior to the end of the deal in 2025. Fox’s Big 12 valuation is based on those schools staying for the next three seasons.”

Additionally, Dodd observed that there could be penalty for the schools for breaking their grant of rights with the Big 12. As Dodd wrote, “A grant of rights binds a school’s television rights to the conference if it were to leave before the term of a media rights deal.”

Beside Fox, ESPN is the other network the Big 12 is expected to meet with soon, multiple outlets reported. ESPN is heavily involved with the SEC, but there has been talk that the Big 12 allowing Texas and Oklahoma to leave early would help it in negotiations with ESPN.

If Texas and Oklahoma were to leave the Big 12 earlier than 2025, it would mark a shift from comments made two months ago by ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro, when he said on a podcast with media expert Richard Deitsch that the expectation was that Texas and Oklahoma will indeed remain in the Big 12 until 2025.