Reports: Pac-12 commissioner will present TV, media deal with all eyes on Arizona
Jul 31, 2023, 1:20 PM | Updated: 1:25 pm
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff will for the first time present the conference’s leaders with a proposed media and television deal by Tuesday morning, according to Wildcat Authority’s Jason Scheer, John Canzano and The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel.
Discussion about expansion — or at least replacements for Colorado and the Los Angeles schools — could also be on the schedule.
Wildcat Authority’s Jason Scheer said on WJOX 94.5 FM that “Arizona has now asked for numbers” to be presented at a planned meeting Tuesday as the Pac-12’s future appears in limbo. It seems they will at least see financial figures, something that hasn’t happened yet, putting the Pac-12’s future in doubt.
League members met last week around the announcement from the Colorado Buffaloes that they would depart for the Big 12 after this coming academic year.
Only nine committed members of the conference remain with UCLA and USC also leaving the Pac-12 after the season. Arizona, Arizona State and Utah are considered potential targets for the Big 12 to poach.
Sources indicate that there is very little linear aspect to the deal that will be presented tomorrow. Nobody knows where it is coming from, but there is also speculation Kliavkoff could present escalators of sorts if certain ratings numbers hit.
— Jason Scheer (@jasonscheer) July 31, 2023
The Wildcats are under the public eye because University of Arizona president Dr. Robert Robbins has left the door ajar to a potential departure from the Pac-12. According to multiple reports, the Big 12 could add one or three more schools to even out its conference after pending departures of Texas and Oklahoma. Poaching more Pac-12 schools is on the table, as is an East Coast addition of the UConn Huskies.
Robbins has been consistent in saying he wants to see a new Pac-12 media deal presented by Kliavkoff, something that has lagged for months and put the conference in a vulnerable position.
According to 247 Sports’ Brandon Marcello, the Wildcats appeared most likely on the edge of considering a move, while ASU and Utah have shown signs of more commitment to the Pac-12.
(Big 12 commissioner Brett) Yormark’s primary target is Arizona, sources tell 247Sports. The university is open to discussing its future and the Big 12 has communicated with the Wildcats’ leadership for several months. Members of Arizona’s board of regents have expressed a desire to keep Arizona State and Arizona in the same conference, sources tell 247Sports, but that is not expected to be a roadblock if the Wildcats want to go alone and join Colorado in the Big 12. Arizona State’s university leadership has been cautious with the changing landscape and is not bullish on moving to the Big 12, sources tell 247Sports.
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde reported that Arizona is viewed as the most likely to leave the Pac-12, adding that Yormark is likely to put potential targets “on the clock” to expedite the expansion process to reach an even number of teams.
Regarding the Wildcats, Marcello’s report backs that of ESPN’s Pete Thamel, who added Wednesday that Arizona had been the most engaged of the four-corner schools with Big 12 talks.
While there have been no reports that the rival Sun Devils have shown signs of considering a move, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson did in February of this year express frustration about the prolonged lack of a new media deal.
“We’re managing it by being patient and letting the process with our new commissioner take its course. It’s been challenging and it’s been frustrating, I don’t think anybody can deny that,” Anderson told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Feb. 23.
Anderson at that point expected a new deal to come to the table within a month’s time.
“Certainly, we’re all anxious to have something resolved here in the next couple, three weeks, so we can take next steps and get some of this speculation out of the air in regard to what other conferences may be thinking in terms of trying to pick off Pac-10 teams, if you will, and what we may do in terms of adding institutions,” he said. “Getting a media rights deal will clear the air for figuring out some of that other stuff.”