The New York Times is now reporting that the Pac-12 television deal is worth an estimated $3 billion over 12 years or $250 million per year. Earlier reports believed the deal was worth $225 million per year. Confirming earlier reports, ESPN and Fox will share the television rights but an important note, the Pac-12 will own the network, unlike the Big 10 Network or Longhorn Network. The television deal starts in 2012, not this year.
According to the New York Times, "the Pac-10, is following the media model of the Big Ten Conference, which in 2007 created its own network and negotiated a 10-year, $1 billion deal with ESPN." The details of the deal are expected to be announced Wednesday.
Larry Scott believes the conference got such a rich deal because of the size of the Pac-12's markets, it's football success and maybe most important, the fact that the Pac-12 conference was one of the the only conferences not already locked up in a long term deal. If you wanted a top tier conference for your network, now was the time. Scott had a ton of leverage with this deal and it shows in the numbers:
Larry Scott, the Pac-10 commissioner, said the size of the TV package was a result of the conference's rights being previously undervalued; the size of its markets; the pooling of media rights that had been scattered among its schools; the presence of two programs, Oregon and Stanford, in B.C.S bowls last season; and the competitiveness among ESPN, Fox and Comcast, which also bid.
"So I'm not surprised at where we landed," he said.
The timing of the Pac-10's deal helped, he said. The Big Ten, the Southeastern, the Big 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conferences have all wrapped up contracts in recent years. That left the Pac-10 to be fought over by ESPN, which carries more college sports than any other company; Fox, which has renewed its ardor for college sports after losing its B.C.S. bowl rights; and Comcast, which was looking to raise the profile of its Versus channel.
"It was a confluence of events," Scott said in a telephone interview. "We were the last to go, which put a tremendous premium value on our rights."
The New York Times also has a breakdown of the channels the games will be shown on:
Games will be carried on two broadcast networks - Fox and ABC - and five cable channels - ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FX and Fox Sports Net. Fox and ESPN will rotate coverage of the conference's football championship game and its basketball tournament.
The Pac-10's new channel will carry at least 350 sports events. The conference is also creating a digital channel, like ESPN3, to carry at least 500 events annually, and a properties division to handle sponsorships.
Scott said the Pac-10 was the beneficiary of the Big Ten's creating its network first.
"They did a lot of things wonderfully and successfully," he said. "They were pioneers. But when you're the second to do it, you get to draft behind the first one."