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Pac-12 Media Deal Could Be Futuristic; Apple, Google May Distribute Pac-12 Network

Larry Scott wasn't messing around when he inked a $3 billion media deal for the Pac-12 earlier this year and the television rights may just be the beginning of his plans to reshape the way we consume media. According to a report on Monday, Scott is exploring an online-only media distribution deal with Apple or Google. The plan would be in lieu of a Pac-12 Network on your television set and is one of three models reportedly being discussed.

Jon Wilner had the details, which include rebranding a current channel, starting a network from scratch or the online-only model. The third option, partnering with Apple or Google, is the one generating the most buzz, but it is a significant gamble -- one that Scott can afford to make after bathing the conference in money with its new media deal.

But because of the 12-year, $250 million annual deal with Fox and ESPN, the conference has the financial flexibility to choose a network structure that best suit its long-term needs.

Partnering with Google or Apple would be a gamble on the next generation of technology -- that in three or five years, the internet will be widely accessed through big screen, high-definition televisions.

H/T Jason Kirk at SB Nation.

If done right, the Pac-12 Network could be ridiculously lucrative. By holding back premium games and a healthy portion of inventory -- namely football games -- Scott positioned the Pac-12 to cash-in with its network. And if the conference is correct in thinking the future is in online broadcasting, the Pac-12 could be setup for long-term success and sustainability.

The distribution plans are still in the discussion stages, but Pac-12 fans could be watching their favorite teams on an iPad, Android tablet or computer in short-order. This conference is so nerdy, it's unbelievable (and awesome).