Pac-12 expansion with San Diego State, SMU may be necessary before league inks new media rights deal

Pac-12 may have to commit to expanding the conference before reaching its compensation goal in a new media rights deal, sources familiar with the situation tell CBS Sports. Seeking to return to 12 members after the departure of USC and UCLA, Pac-12 has focused its efforts on assessing the state of San Diego and SMU.

Pac-12 Commissioner Georgia Klyavkoff has already toured the state of San Diego, CBS Sports previously learned. He plans to visit SMU on Wednesday. according to Brett McMurphy.

Pac-12’s next media rights deal will depend heavily on a digital streaming partner. Well over half of each season’s Pac-12 football games will be primarily available via streaming as part of the next conference rights deal, sources tell CBS Sports.

The ratio is unprecedented for the Power Five conference and for the streaming giant, which will be the first to more fully embrace college sports. The move is likely to upset Pac-12 coaches, athletic directors and administrators who rely on the publicity of their games through line (cable) and network platforms for everything from recruiting athletes to university enrollments.

Pac-12 suffered from poor distribution for a long time as a result of the decision to move to a standalone, wholly owned Pac-12 Networks. A heavy streaming deal will further limit the visibility of the conference.

The next Pac-12 deal is expected to be split between the streaming service and ESPN. Given that Pac-12 appears to be unable to meet its reward target, which is believed to be around $30 million to $35 million per program per year, it appears that the conference needs to expand urgently as a condition for closing the deal in money range. looking for.

Conferences in this situation usually negotiate a new rights agreement before entering into a separate expansion agreement. This order sets the value for existing conference participants before new participants are added.

It is not known whether San Diego State or SMU, two of the “big five” schools, will receive full media rights if Pac-12 chooses them for expansion. The addition of software will increase the annual supply of Pac-12 games by 20% from 75. games per season up to 90.

Which streaming giant is leading the way in releasing Pac-12 games is unknown. Amazon had success last season with the Thursday Night Football NFL package. Apple recently signed a 10-year contract with MLS. So far, however, none of the platforms have shown much interest in collegiate sports. (Industry experts predict that most major sports will be streamed in the coming years.)

Pac-12 is the only major conference that has not yet renewed its media rights in this cycle. Critics say the league has missed its most lucrative window as negotiations drag on.

It doesn’t help that far more lucrative properties are becoming available, including the UFC, NASCAR, NBA and WWE, the latter of which is looking to sell to a content provider. .

Despite losing Texas and Oklahoma to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Big 12 was able to sign a deal late last year that was worth more than its previous contract. Pac-12’s current contract with Fox and ESPN, which expires July 1, 2024, is valued at approximately $21 million per school, not including NCAA Tournament, college football playoff, or bowl game revenue.

It is believed that ESPN is interested in Pac-12 because of the “fourth window” – games that start after 10 p.m. ET. In 2024, the network will have a college football broadcast hole if it doesn’t air some Pac-12 games. He’s already missed out on part of the Big Ten deal signed with CBS, Fox and NBC.

San Diego State has the meaning in the Pac-12 supplement. There’s already a hole in Southern California, given that Pac-12 lost to USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.

The addition of SMU will be non-adjacent (not bordering the state with a Pac-12 school) with a university 820 miles from Colorado, the league’s closest program. However, at least to some extent, SMU can create a springboard for Pac-12 recruiting in Texas.


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