New Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is doing all he can to get his league the best exposure and money. Scott has floated the idea of playing games on Sunday if the NFL is still in a lockout, and the Sept. 11th game between Utah vs. USC is one of the games that was speculated.
More recently, the league moved the Colorado vs. USC game from Saturday afternoon to a Friday night so that it would be on ESPN2 as well of maybe two games that.
The television deal is where Scott has been working his hardest to get his league an SEC type deal. His first offer to Fox was $300 million per year, and he knew the deal would be rejected. The only reason is was offered was so that Fox would turn down the deal and allow the Pac-12 to negotiate in the open market.
It is being reported by Sports Business Daily that the Pac-12 is expected to sign a 12-year $2.7 billion television deal between Fox and ESPN:
The Pac-10 Conference has agreed to a media rights deal with ESPN and Fox that is worth more than $2.7B over 12 years, according to multiple sources. A formal announcement could come as soon as tomorrow. The deal, which averages out to more than $225M per year, includes football, basketball and Olympic sports rights. It is more than triple the conference's current deals with ESPN and Fox. The conference is holding some rights back that it still hopes to use for a dedicated channel.
As part of its deal, ESPN is picking up football and basketball rights, plus rights to a package of Olympic sports. ESPN has committed to carrying an unknown number of football games in primetime on ABC.
Fox picked up football and basketball rights. It will carry football games on its Fox broadcast channel in primetime and on FX. It will carry basketball games on FSN. ESPN and Fox will rotate coverage of the Pac-10's basketball tournament and football championship game. The conference becomes the Pac-12 on July 1 when Colorado and Utah enter the conference.
This comes out to be $18.75 million per team, but that number will actually be slightly higher since Utah does not get a full share until the 2014-2015 academic year. That $18.75 million number is actually higher per team then the mega-deal the SEC signed between ESPN and CBS back in 2009 -- currently the SEC schools make $18.3 million per school, per year. However, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the $225 million per year figure is low and the deal could actually be at $250 million per year and approximately $3 billion in total.
That number does not include the plan for a Pac-12 channel, so that number will only go higher. The New York Times spoke with Larry Scott and the Pac-12 network will have full ownership of the channel:
The Pac-10's new channel will carry at least 350 sports events. The conference is also creating a digital channel, like ESPN3, to carry at least 500 events annually, and a properties division to handle sponsorships.
Larry Scott is going to live up to his promise of giving the Pac-12 the richest television deal in college sports. This television deal will go into effect starting for the 2012-2013 academic year. Also Scott is expected to address the media tomorrow on this television deal.