Pac-12 Conference to begin negotiations for next media rights agreements

Jul 5, 2022, 11:37 AM | Updated: 1:29 pm

A Arizona State Sun Devils pylon with a football during the NCAAF game against the USC Trojans at S...

A Arizona State Sun Devils pylon with a football during the NCAAF game against the USC Trojans at Sun Devil Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. The Trojans defeated the Sun Devils 31-26. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Pac-12 Board of Directors met on Tuesday and authorized the conference to immediately begin negotiations for new media rights agreements, the Pac-12 announced in a release.

The conference is seeing a seismic shift after USC and UCLA announced a move to the Big Ten on Thursday. Rumors have swirled around more potential additions to the Big Ten from the Pac-12 or a merger with the remaining teams in the Big 12 after the Oklahoma and Texas exodus to the SEC.

Pac-12 insider John Canzano reported that commissioner George Kliavkoff has been making progress behind the scenes.

“Arizona, ASU, Utah and Colorado were reported late last week to be leaning into a possible contingency escape to the Big 12 themselves, but I’m told by a high-ranking official at one of those universities to pump the brakes on that speculation,” Canzano said.

“’There is no meeting on the books for us with the Big 12,’” the source said, “’and George is kicking a–.’”

Amid the speculation and rumors, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson confirmed his commitment to the conference.

“ASU remains fully committed to the Pac-12 Conference. ASU continues to work closely with the other remaining conference members to advance the best interests of its student-athletes as well as to support the continued success of the conference itself,” Anderson said in a release.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported that the Big 12 will still look to add Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

“Adding at least those four schools would extend the Big 12 further into the Mountain Time Zone, creating “travel partners” for incoming member BYU while also adding a rival for the Cougars in the Utes,” Dodd said. “The Arizona schools are two hours apart and feature Phoenix as a major market acquisition for the conference.”

“What the Big 12 cannot afford to do, according to multiple industry sources, is stand pat. There is still the lingering question of who even has leverage in adding teams between the Pac-12 and Big 12.”

He adds that Fox would have to be willing to commit to a new television deal for whatever this new conference may look like.

The Pac-12’s projected annual average value dropped from $500 million to $300 million with the loss of the Los Angeles schools.

This means each individual team’s AAV drops from approximately $42 million per year with 12 teams to $30 million per year spread across 10 teams. For comparison, the Big Ten has a $1 billion AAV spread across their teams, per San Jose Mercury News’ Jon Wilner.

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