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Pac-12 TV Contract: Details About New TV Deal Starting To Emerge

A new TV deal isn't set to arrive until the 2012 football season, but things are starting to take shape.

As of right now, we are in a negotiation period where the current primary TV partner, Fox Sports, has exclusive negotiation rights. John Wilner, of the San Jose Mercury News who provided most of this information, says that no one, except for parties involved, know exactly when that period will end.

The Pac-12 is expected to get a lot of interested parties calling. One interesting name that has been rumored is Comcast/NBC-Universal. The merger between NBC and Comcast has just recently been approved and it's likely that NBC sports chairman Dick Ebersol is looking for a prime contract to place on his new networks. NBC now holds rights to numerous networks that could air sporting events, including Verses (Soon to be renamed NBC Sports), Universal Sports, NBC itself, and numerous Comcast regional sports networks.

As interesting as the contract going to Comcast/NBC would be, everything is pointing to Fox maintaining rights. Fox had already paid a gigantic amount of money to not only carry the extra games that come with adding two extra teams, but carry the first annual Pac-12 championship game as well.

With all that money invested in the conference it is very unlikely that Fox would give up the rights without driving the price through the roof.

The other big news that John Wilner brought to the table, was the thought of The Pac-12 network:

I also believe commissioner Larry Scott wants to make the Pac-12 Network happen, and that the only reason it won’t happen is if Fox essentially pays the league to not form a network – which is exactly what ESPN and CBS did with the SEC.

While it is a possibility, I just don't see the Pac-12 not having it's own network.The Pac-10 is one of the leaders in Olympic sports and that is not going to change when they add more teams. The Pac-12 network not only adds room for more basketball and football games (All of which Larry Scott says will be televised once the new deal rolls around), but they can also air events from a wide variety of often ignored Olympic sports, and even more woman's sports.

No matter who the contract goes to, it's clear that Larry Scott it committed to bringing more exposure, and more money, to the conference. And it's clear that neither of those things are bad things.