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Pac-12 Championship Game Headed To Fox After $25 Million Deal

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott made his first big move as the window to negotiate a new television contract for the conference nears. Scott, who brings a marketing savvy and knowledge of the television landscape, pulled off an impressive deal, securing $25 million for the rights to the first Pac-12 Championship Game, as well as other games in the 2011 season. Fox will televise the events on its flagship station.

Sports Business Daily's Michael Smith and John Ourand had the details on Thursday morning.

Fox has secured the rights to the Pac-12's football championship game in '11, giving the network a doubleheader of championship games on Dec. 3. Fox also has the Big Ten's title game that day. Industry sources said Fox is paying the Pac-12 $25M for the championship game and other game inventory that is the result of the conference's expansion from 10 teams to 12. The Pac-12's championship game is valued at around $14.5M, sources said; the other $10.5M is part of a prior contractual obligation

Break that down based on what we know about the conference's revenue sharing plan and this means each team takes home an extra $2 million next year. That $25 million will be split equally among the 12 conference teams, giving each a significant financial windfall.

The bigger issue at play here is the clear jockeying for position as the Pac-12 television contract heads to the open market following the end of the 2011 season. Fox still holds the rights to the television contract through the next year -- with a new contract going into effect at the beginning of the 2012 football season -- but the window for negotiations opens following this season. With the Pac-10, now the Pac-12, lagging behind the other power conferences on the revenue scale, schools are looking to Scott to make a big splash.

Bottom line: this is a great step in the right direction for Scott and the Pac-12. A quick financial windfall, exposure for the first-ever Pac-12 Championship Game and leverage heading into the television negotiations.