Pac-12 media deal proposal meeting ends without resolution, per reports

Aug 1, 2023, 12:03 PM | Updated: 2:47 pm

George Kliavkoff, Pac-12 commissioner...

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at a press conference before the Pac-12 Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 03, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

A meeting on Tuesday where Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff for the first time presented schools with proposed TV rights contracts ended without public clarity about the options discussed. There was also little clarity on whether a university such as Arizona has inched closer to leaving for the Big 12, according to multiple reports.

University of Arizona president Dr. Robert Robbins reportedly requested that Kliavkoff share TV and media rights proposal details with the conference’s members. That sharing came and went Tuesday morning without any vote to accept or reject a deal, reports Yahoo!’s Ross DellengerJohn Canzano and The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy.

Pac-12 executives expect a follow-up meeting in the future, according to those reports.

The primary proposal, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, involves a streaming-focused deal with Apple with incentivized tiers based on number of subscriptions.

The Arizona Board of Regents, which controls both Arizona and fellow Pac-12 school Arizona State, had a meeting scheduled for later today, though it was unclear whether conference affiliation and the media rights deal would be on the agenda. The public notice posted for the meeting had one item listed:

• Pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03(A)(1) and (3) for a review of assignments with Arizona Board of Regents Executive Director John Arnold.

Article (3) of that includes “discussion or consultation for legal advice with the attorney or attorneys of the public body.”

Robbins will ultimately lead the Wildcats as they deem whether sticking with the Pac-12 is the right move or if a Big 12 leap is in the school’s best interests. The league has only nine committee teams at present for the 2024-25 academic year.

“I’ll say this: Athletics are very expensive and to run sports programs is very expensive,” Arizona football coach Jedd Fisch said. “The NCAA has continued to loosen rules when it comes to feeding players, when it comes to travel, when it comes to certain advantages, when it comes to bonuses, call it, if you hit a certain GPA … all of those things go into making running an athletic department extremely important.”

The Big 12 media rights deal signed in October will reportedly pay out $31.7 million per school, which the Pac-12 is not expected to equal in any iteration of a new TV contract.

The Wildcats’ ultimate decision comes after the Colorado Buffaloes shook up the Pac-12 last week by announcing a leap to the Big 12 after the 2023-24 season, following the lead of the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins. The Los Angeles area schools said last June they would depart for the Big Ten.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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