For years, Pac-10 (soon to be Pac-12) fans have been relegated to second-class citizenry by their pitiful broadcast contract negotiated by previous commissioner Tom Hansen.
In football, it meant the best the conference could do on most Saturdays was a regional broadcast on ABC seen by half the country or less, a couple of small-time broadcasts on the Fox Sports Net regional channels that were more or less limited to the west coast, and a "national" broadcast on Fox Sports Net that began at 7 p.m. Pacific ... and 10 p.m. Eastern.
And in both football and basketball, it meant that too many games weren't even broadcast at all.
That's all going to come to an end with the $3 billion media rights partnership current Pac-10 / soon-to-be Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has negotiated with ESPN and Fox. Beyond the obscene financial figures being thrown around, this will be an absolute coup for all Pac-12 fans, according to CougCenter:
Fox wasn't going to pony up this kind of money unless it planned on putting a substantial amount of content on FX. That's a great thing for viewers, because FX has roughly the same distribution as ESPN nationally. ... I'm betting that the bulk of the second-tier games end up either on FX or on ESPN2. These are channels that are easy for viewers to find that are in virtually every home with a basic digital cable or satellite package across the entire country.
In other words, most of the Pac-12's television broadcasts will be available nationwide -- something that's not currently the case. Huge, huge victory.
Welcome to first class, Pac-12 fans.
Stay with our Pac-12 TV contract StoryStream for more on Wednesday's announcement. Head over to SB Nation's CougCenter for everything Washington State athletics.