May 4, 2011
Pac-12 Schools To Make Big Money Off TV Deal

The soon-to-be Pac-12 Conference has agreed to a stunningly lucrative 12-year media rights deal approaching $3 billion that is almost certain to please its schools and fans alike.

Under the new contract that begins in 2012-13, which will be formally announced today in Phoenix, co-rights-holders Fox and ESPN are expected to pay the conference an average of between $225 million and $250 million annually – roughly quadruple the $60 million Fox and ESPN will pay the Pac-12 next season in the final year of the current deal.

What’s more, the new deal does not include rights to the planned Pac-12 Network, meaning the conference could retain all of its profits, which could be more than $100 million annually, after two or three years of losses due to start-up costs and distribution challenges.

“If they have a long-term vision, that’s very smart, said A.J. Maestas, president of Chicago-based Navigate Marketing, a provider of sports market research and valuation.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was unavailable for comment to the Star but told the New York Times that the conference didn’t feel we had to give equity to get the broadcast and cable packages we got.”

By combining forces, Fox and ESPN won the rights over Comcast and Turner, which also discussed the Pac-12 rights.

ESPN and Fox “were pretty successful in muscling out Comcast, said Adam Swanson, a media analyst at SNL Kagan, who said Comcast needed the content to feed its expanding network.

For the UA, the new deal means the normally cash-strapped athletic department will receive more than three times the $6 million share it is expected to receive next year. After the Pac-12 Network is established, the UA could rake in another $10 million or more from it on top of the average $13 million from Fox and ESPN.

While unable to comment in detail until the deal is formally announced, UA athletic director Greg Byrne said:

There’s certainly a lot of chatter out there for good and progressive news for our conference, and it’s coming at a time when there’s tremendous financial pressures on our athletic department and our league. This will give us an opportunity to support our 19 sports and almost 500 student-athletes, and the costs associated with that.”

Among other things, the UA will likely use the money to keep up in the facilities race with other high-major athletic programs, to pay for charter flights to games that may now be scheduled less conveniently, as well as to continue paying its coaches competitive salaries. Basketball coach Sean Miller, for one, is due an extension on his $2 million annual deal next month.

For UA fans, the deal means football and men’s basketball games will become more widely available to watch, especially outside of Southern Arizona. As a co-rights-holder, ESPN is likely to show more games on its national networks, while over-the-air broadcasts on ABC likely will not be regionally televised, as they often are now.

In addition, basketball games on Fox Sports Net will not be shown just on Fox Sports Arizona or the opposing team’s regional sports network, but on all FSN affiliates around the country. It is possible that FSN affiliates outside the West will be required to carry Pac-12 games, while the nationally designated Pac-12 basketball games are now subject to being pre-empted by NHL games or other regionally contracted sports in some markets.

Exact terms of the deal were not available Tuesday, but the Times said Pac-12 football games will be shown on ABC, Fox, FX, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Basketball games will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and Fox Sports Net. ESPN will also carry a package of 15 nonrevenue sports, which will help the conference’s exposure.

UA softball coach Mike Candrea said the Southeastern Conference has already benefited by having ESPN show its “Olympic” sports more often.

“The more people get a chance to see your athletes, the better chance they have at postseason, too, Candrea said. There’s a lot of benefits for it.”

The Pac-12 is also expected to increase its presence internationally, showing virtually all of its sports except football in Asia and Australia. It can do so online, via a component of the Pac-12 Network, and possibly also via Singapore-based ESPN Star Sports.

A new Pac-12 Network is estimated to cost more than $100 million, but Maestas said it is possible the network could be launched for as little as $35 million, if it went with half online content and half cable content to start.

The Big Ten Network, which the Pac-12 looked at as a model, was launched in 2007 with Fox holding a 49 percent ownership – guaranteeing it easy access to DirecTV, because Fox’s parent, News Corp., had a share in DirecTV.

The Big Ten also had local leverage with Midwestern cable providers because of the strong demand for Big Ten games in the Midwest.

But while the Pac-12 may go its own way, without possibly as much viewer demand as the Big Ten has, its network still has plenty of potential.

“In reality, it doesn’t have to be exactly like the Big Ten Network, Maestas said. It can do streaming online and things like that. There’s cheaper ways to do it. From a business perspective, they have many real options going forward.”

Current conference media packages

Conference Partners Annual combined amount

Pac-12 ESPN/Fox $250, 0, 000*

Big Ten ESPN/ABC/CBS/Big Ten Network $232, 0, 000

Southeastern CBS/ESPN/ABC $205, 0, 000

ACC ESPN/Raycom $185, 0, 000

Big 12 ESPN/ABC/FSN $150, 0, 000

Big East ESPN $33, 0, 000

Pac-12 Schools To Make Big Money Off TV Deal

Arizona Daily Star, Bruce Pascoe

http://azstarnet.com/sports/college/wildcats/article_385f03a7-e81b-5334-8ca3-689dac736574.html

The soon-to-be Pac-12 Conference has agreed to a stunningly lucrative 12-year media rights deal approaching $3 billion that is almost certain to please its schools and fans alike.

Under the new contract that begins in 2012-13, which will be formally announced today in Phoenix, co-rights-holders Fox and ESPN are expected to pay the conference an average of between $225 million and $250 million annually – roughly quadruple the $60 million Fox and ESPN will pay the Pac-12 next season in the final year of the current deal.

What’s more, the new deal does not include rights to the planned Pac-12 Network, meaning the conference could retain all of its profits, which could be more than $100 million annually, after two or three years of losses due to start-up costs and distribution challenges.

“If they have a long-term vision, that’s very smart, said A.J. Maestas, president of Chicago-based Navigate Marketing, a provider of sports market research and valuation.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was unavailable for comment to the Star but told the New York Times that the conference didn’t feel we had to give equity to get the broadcast and cable packages we got.”

By combining forces, Fox and ESPN won the rights over Comcast and Turner, which also discussed the Pac-12 rights.

ESPN and Fox “were pretty successful in muscling out Comcast, said Adam Swanson, a media analyst at SNL Kagan, who said Comcast needed the content to feed its expanding network.

For the UA, the new deal means the normally cash-strapped athletic department will receive more than three times the $6 million share it is expected to receive next year. After the Pac-12 Network is established, the UA could rake in another $10 million or more from it on top of the average $13 million from Fox and ESPN.

While unable to comment in detail until the deal is formally announced, UA athletic director Greg Byrne said:

There’s certainly a lot of chatter out there for good and progressive news for our conference, and it’s coming at a time when there’s tremendous financial pressures on our athletic department and our league. This will give us an opportunity to support our 19 sports and almost 500 student-athletes, and the costs associated with that.”

Among other things, the UA will likely use the money to keep up in the facilities race with other high-major athletic programs, to pay for charter flights to games that may now be scheduled less conveniently, as well as to continue paying its coaches competitive salaries. Basketball coach Sean Miller, for one, is due an extension on his $2 million annual deal next month.

For UA fans, the deal means football and men’s basketball games will become more widely available to watch, especially outside of Southern Arizona. As a co-rights-holder, ESPN is likely to show more games on its national networks, while over-the-air broadcasts on ABC likely will not be regionally televised, as they often are now.

In addition, basketball games on Fox Sports Net will not be shown just on Fox Sports Arizona or the opposing team’s regional sports network, but on all FSN affiliates around the country. It is possible that FSN affiliates outside the West will be required to carry Pac-12 games, while the nationally designated Pac-12 basketball games are now subject to being pre-empted by NHL games or other regionally contracted sports in some markets.

Exact terms of the deal were not available Tuesday, but the Times said Pac-12 football games will be shown on ABC, Fox, FX, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Basketball games will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and Fox Sports Net. ESPN will also carry a package of 15 nonrevenue sports, which will help the conference’s exposure.

UA softball coach Mike Candrea said the Southeastern Conference has already benefited by having ESPN show its “Olympic” sports more often.

“The more people get a chance to see your athletes, the better chance they have at postseason, too, Candrea said. There’s a lot of benefits for it.”

The Pac-12 is also expected to increase its presence internationally, showing virtually all of its sports except football in Asia and Australia. It can do so online, via a component of the Pac-12 Network, and possibly also via Singapore-based ESPN Star Sports.

A new Pac-12 Network is estimated to cost more than $100 million, but Maestas said it is possible the network could be launched for as little as $35 million, if it went with half online content and half cable content to start.

The Big Ten Network, which the Pac-12 looked at as a model, was launched in 2007 with Fox holding a 49 percent ownership – guaranteeing it easy access to DirecTV, because Fox’s parent, News Corp., had a share in DirecTV.

The Big Ten also had local leverage with Midwestern cable providers because of the strong demand for Big Ten games in the Midwest.

But while the Pac-12 may go its own way, without possibly as much viewer demand as the Big Ten has, its network still has plenty of potential.

“In reality, it doesn’t have to be exactly like the Big Ten Network, Maestas said. It can do streaming online and things like that. There’s cheaper ways to do it. From a business perspective, they have many real options going forward.”

Current conference media packages

Conference Partners Annual combined amount

Pac-12 ESPN/Fox $250, 0, 000*

Big Ten ESPN/ABC/CBS/Big Ten Network $232, 0, 000

Southeastern CBS/ESPN/ABC $205, 0, 000

ACC ESPN/Raycom $185, 0, 000

Big 12 ESPN/ABC/FSN $150, 0, 000

Big East ESPN $33, 0, 000






75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
616.887.9008
Interested in reading the print edition of Winning Hoops?

Subscribe Today »

website development by deyo designs