On Wednesday, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott will announce the conference's newest television deal, and it's expected to be the richest in all of college sports. The Pac-12, formerly the Pac-10, has lagged behind the rest of the college landscape with a paltry television deal on-par with smaller, non-BCS conferences. But now, thanks to the changing climate in the television market, Scott has struck gold, and the conference is poised to go from worst to first with a cutting-edge deal that includes more exposure and a significant bump in revenue.
Scott has been negotiating the deal through the early part of 2011, roping in Comcast, ESPN and FOX to create what amounted to a bidding war. Television rights for live sports have become a hot commodity, creating a perfect storm for the Pac-12 as Scott tried to deliver on his promise of riches. And he did, with reports indicating the deal will be worth billions, putting the Pac-12 on the level of the SEC and Big Ten in terms of revenue.
Here are a few of the details.
The deal will actually be worth about $3 billion total over 12 years, or about $250 million a year and nearly $21 million per school.
The conference has retained all network rights and plans to start its own network with a digital media platform akin to ESPN3. More than 850 events will be broadcast between the two.
The latter point is important and will allow the Pac-12 to showcase its non-revenue sports in addition to ensuring every football and basketball game is televised. By adding a digital media platform, the Pac-12 is boosting its exposure significantly while embracing the latest innovations in broadcast technology.
Pac-12 schools are celebrating the deal and championing Scott for his efforts to move the conference forward in just his first year on the job. From expansion to a ground-breaking deal, Scott has done well, and all 12 member institutions will be reaping the benefits very soon.
We'll be back with more on the Pac-12 TV contract in this StoryStream. For more on our local teams and their take on the deal, head over to CougCenter, our Washington State blog, and UW Dawg Pound, our Washington blog.