Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott actually pulled it off: As first reported by the SportsBusiness Journal early this morning and subsequently confirmed by Pac-12 reporter Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, the conference is set to announce a media rights deal worth $2.7 billion over 12 years. (EDIT: See the bottom of the story for the updated $3 billion figure via the New York Times.)
That works out to approximately $225 million a year and nearly $19 million per team. It will be the richest conference deal in college sports.
According to both sources, the deal is a joint venture between Fox and ESPN in which both would share the football and basketball rights. From the SportsBusiness Journal:
Fox picked up football and basketball rights. It will carry football games on its Fox broadcast channel in primetime and on FX. It will carry basketball games on FSN. ESPN and Fox will rotate coverage of the Pac-10's basketball tournament and football championship game. The conference becomes the Pac-12 on July 1 when Colorado and Utah enter the conference.
The interesting thing about this deal? It does not include a Pac-12 channel. Scott apparently held back some rights expressly for that purpose, so when all is said and done, each team's annual payout will almost certainly exceed $20 million annually.
I know many were hoping that Fox would be out of the picture, but given the amount of money this includes, it's tough to look a gift horse in the mouth.
We'll be along later with some further analysis. Until then, discuss away.
EDIT, 9:23 a.m.: New figures are trickling out, and and the numbers appear higher than originally reported. Here are the key points via the New York Times:
- 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.
- As near as I can tell, this $3 billion figure still DOES NOT include potential revenue from the conference's network. But I'm not completely clear on that, and we probably won't get a clear sense of where all the revenue comes from until Scott's news conference tomorrow.