The college conference landscape is changing with USC and UCLA’s departure from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten the latest dominoes to fall.
What could be next in college conference expansion and college conference realignment for the Pac-12?
Take a look at some updates, rumors, speculation and reports surrounding the future of the conference and its teams.
John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal wrote: “ESPN has pulled out of Big Ten media rights negotiations entirely, ending one of the longest sports media relationships in the business. That move clears the way for CBS and NBC to join Fox Sports as Big Ten broadcasters starting with the 2023-24 school year. A formal announcement could come as early as this week. It could push into next week.”
The Associated Press and Salt Lake Tribune wrote: “The Big Ten’s next round of media rights contracts will not include a deal with ESPN. Two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Big Ten was looking for a seven-year deal worth $380 million per year from ESPN, and the network declined. The agreement would not have given ESPN the ability to have first choice of Big Ten games in a given week at any point. The fallout could be good news for the Pac-12 , which remains in negotiations with the network giant, as well as its other media partners on new media rights agreements. Without the Big Ten contract, ESPN theoretically has money to spend elsewhere and programming slots to fill. For its part, the Pac-12 can provide evening kickoff slots, as late as 10:30 pm ET — inventory with little, if any competition at that hour.”
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News wrote: “Were the calculation entirely about annual revenue, survival would be a substantial favorite. We believe Arizona, ASU, Colorado and Utah would prefer to remain in the Pac-12, and there’s no indication that either league has a significant advantage in future revenue. But the long-haul stability issue certainly must be considered. The Hotline does not believe the Big Ten will expand again this decade. In our estimation, Notre Dame will sign a new deal with NBC and remain Independent, limiting the Big Ten’s options. But admittedly, that’s a precarious assumption for the Four Corners schools. At this point, the challenge for commissioner George Kliavkoff is crafting a contract that provides flexibility for Washington, Oregon and Stanford and security for the others .”
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News wrote: “Pretty good … perhaps better than 50/50. ESPN could create a media partnership based on each league’s Tier 3 infrastructure, combining the ACC Network with the Pac-12 Network to create more subscribers, and revenue. For all their problems with distribution, the Pac-12 Networks are on the cutting edge with their remote broadcast technology.”
Pac-12 Insider John Canzano wrote: “ESPN reportedly balked at a deal with the Big Ten. If the Pac-12 could have performed a cartwheel, it would have. It’s been a gut-wrenching five weeks since USC and UCLA announced they were defecting to the Big Ten. One Pac-12 athletic director who has been part of the turmoil associated with several different conference expansions and realignments offered some context.”
Matt Zemek of Trojans Wire wrote: “We have all wondered over the past six weeks if the Pac-12 Conference was going to survive the departures of USC and UCLA. Tuesday morning, it became clear that the league will indeed live on. There won ‘t be a death. There won’t be splintering into extinction. There won’t be a raid by the Big 12. The Pac will be back in some form or fashion. Yes, the Pac-12 won’t be as strong as it was with USC in the fold. The conference won’t make as many dollars or win as many Heisman Trophies with the Trojans in the Big Ten. We can all acknowledge that. However, the Pac-12 is going to survive. That’s something.”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Pac-12 Conference expansion, realignment live updates, rumors, reports