The soon-to-be Pac-12 Conference has reached a landmark media rights agreement with Fox and ESPN that will pay the league an average of at least $225 million over the next 12 seasons — nearly four times what the Pac-10 receives now.
Even though Fox and ESPN are current partners with the Pac-10, the new deal will be radically different. Not only will it pay nearly $3 billion over the 12 years, according to the New York Times, but it will result in all of the football and men's basketball games being shown on some form of national television.
According to the Times, the Pac-12 football games will be shown on ABC, Fox, Fx, ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN2. Basketball games will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and Fox Sports Net. ESPN will also carry a package of 15 non-revenue sports.
Games will also be carried on a new Pac-12 Network. But a key component of the deal is that a Pac-12 Network may not be carried out in a partnership with Fox or another network as the Big Ten Network is. Fox owns 49 percent of the lucrative Big Ten Network.
"We didn't feel we had to give equity to get the broadcast and cable packages we got," Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott told the New York Times.
Analyst A.J. Maestas of Chicago's Navigate Marketing said without a partner a Pac-12 Network will face a much more difficult and costly launch but in the long term could gain significantly because it would not share the profits.
"If they have a long-term vision, that's very smart," Maestas said.
The annual average of the deal reported intitially by the Sports Business Journal was $225 million but that does not include any potential revenue from the Pac-12 Network.
For Arizona, a $225 million deal would translate into a share of $18.75 million, or over three times what it is scheduled to receive next season in the final year of the current $60 milllon deal the Pac-10 has with Fox and ESPN.
The deal is expected to be formally announced Wednesday in Phoenix.