Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott will host a press conference at 9:00 am MT/ 8:00 am PT to discuss the record breaking television rights deal. It is expected that he will announce a 12-year deal for football and men's basketball worth $3 billion with ESPN and Fox, an average of $250 million a year or $21 million annually per school. The press conference can be watched here on Pac-10.org.
Most believe 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. Scott must also get a ton of credit for the deal and has been impressive throughout. He absolutely followed up on his commitment back when the expansion occurred that he would bring a big time television deal to the conference. I think Scott exceeded expectations with this one.
The $250 million annual deal is the largest of any major conference, exceeding the SEC's $205 million deal. Also supposedly worked into the deal was the ability to keep content for showing on it's own Pac-12 network and just as important, the Pac-12 will own the network, unlike the Big 10 Network or Longhorn Network. By doing these things, television revenue may not be capped at $250 million annually if the Pac-12 Network grows.
According to the New York Times, "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."
To put this in perspective, according to the Boulder Daily Camera, Colorado's television, bowl game and other media rights revenue the past few years has been around $10 million from the Big 12. With the new Pac-12 deal alone, Colorado will double that overnight. The University will have to pay the Big 12 a penalty for switching conferences and we all know about the need for more funds into the athletic program. This television deal will go a long way into solving both of those problems.