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Pac-12 officially announces ‘landmark media deal’

PAC-12 (edit 2)_1

Following up on reports Tuesday that they reached a new 10-figure, longterm agreement with a pair of broadcast partners, the Pac-12 officially announced Wednesday a “landmark media rights deal with ESPN and FOX Media Group” that places the conference atop the financial pecking order.

While commissioner Larry Scott would not confirm the numbers involved, the New York Times reported yesterday that the Pac-12 would receive $250 million annually on the 12-year deal.  If those numbers are correct, the Pac-12’s new agreement would top that of the two previous financial behemoths — the SEC and Big Ten — and far surpass the recently signed agreements of the Big 12 and ACC.

The new agreement with ESPN and FOX will more than quadruple the conference’s revenue from their previous agreements.

In addition to the agreement with the networks, Scott also “announced the creation of a new media company, Pac-12 Media Enterprises, which will own the Pac-12 Network, the Pac-12 Digital Network, and Pac-12 Properties.” The release went on to read that “[t]his new company will control and distribute on its platforms and on all devices, the Pac-12 games not licensed to ESPN and FOX Sports, and will hold other media and event rights. This entity will be wholly owned and controlled by the Pac-12 Conference and will exist side-by-side with the newly announced ESPN and FOX Sports arrangements.”

“We are equally excited by the creation of Pac-12 Media Enterprises, which will enable us to launch our own Pac-12 television and digital networks, providing signi!cantly more exposure for women’s sports and Olympic sports in which the Pac-12 excels, in addition to academic and other campus programming of interest to our fan base,” Scott said in a statement. “These new platforms will also provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to control the distribution of our intellectual property rights in sports, education and other Conference and membership initiatives.”

The new deal will go into effect in 2012, and will exponentially increase the conference’s exposure on a national level.  A total of 44 games per year will be televised on various ESPN and FOX platforms, and every conference game will be televised either via the broadcast partners or the conference’s own network.

— 10 regular-season football games per year will be on a combination of the ABC and FOX broadcast networks with full national clearance with a substantial commitment for primetime coverage.
— 34 regular-season games on national cable networks, FX, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
— The remaining regular-season football games, an average of approximately three games per week, will be featured exclusively on the Pac-12 Network.

The conference title game will be televised by FOX in 2011 and 2012 — the network had previously reached an agreement to televise the inaugural game — and will then be rotated on an annual basis with ESPN through the end of the deal in 2023.

It should also be noted that Colorado and Utah, which will officially join the conference on July 1, will be treated as equal financial partners from jump street, with Scott pointing out on the conference’s release that “the Pac-12’s member institutions [will], for the first time ever, share equally in the revenue from the new arrangement, and that the equal revenue distribution would start immediately when the deal goes into effect in 2012.”

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4 Responses to “Pac-12 officially announces ‘landmark media deal’”
  1. parkcityute says: May 4, 2011 2:00 PM

    I am glad to read that Utah will share equally in the revenue. If the conferences such as the Pac-12, Big 10, and SEC all negotiate contracts which allow the revenues to increase as the value increases, that would be a good deal for them. Over a 10, 12 or even longer period, inflation and market values could very well lower the value of the contract if this market value increase is not included. This is a good thing for the Pac-12 which we are now a part. I am looking forward to greater exposure for the women’s sports with the Pac-12 television and also the Olympic sports.

  2. frug says: May 4, 2011 7:30 PM

    Yeah nobody made out better in this last round of realignment than Utah. For all the talk about how much more money/power the Big 10, Pac-10/12 ad Texas now have, no one improved more (relative to their previous position) that Utah.

  3. pr3zths says: May 4, 2011 8:07 PM

    I’m sorry, but I have to say this. Fresno State has to be ran by the dumbest people ever. To not see this coming and choose to join the mountain west conference makes no since. A team that plays very well against ever PAC 10 now PAC 12 teams, this should have been the first and only conference any school in California should have picked. Looking at if from a athlete coming into school. Every school in the Pac12 will get better from here on out. Washington State as well.

  4. edgy says: May 5, 2011 3:00 PM

    The more I see about the Pac-12’s TV deal, the more I love it. They did one very good thing and that’s get all their games on TV so that they can overcome what Eastern teams have used against them in the past: the lack of coverage of their games back East. No longer can they use the “Your parents won’t get to see you play on TV” excuse and that could be a big boost in recruiting. The conference already has a very good recruiting base and it could get even better.

    Oh and why is it that people seem to want to downplay the contributions of Colorado and Utah to this deal? Seriously, have any of their critics ever looked at a map or checked out demographics or mean statistical areas or Nielsen markets? Their biggest critics are basically ignorant of all these factors and don’t have a clue as to why they were just as important as the Northern part of the Pac-12 when it came to this TV deal.

    Also, a wild idea and a very long shot: team up with BYU and put Pac-12 games and other events on their network. BYU already has the infrastructure and it would help both because BYU could work out some games with the conference and the Pac-12 doesn’t have to put out as much money right away on building their new network.

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