Every Pacific 12 Conference football game and men’s basketball game will be broadcast beginning in 2012 with the launch of the conference’s new TV contract with ESPN and Fox and the Pac-12 TV and digital networks.
The Pac-12 networks will independently also offer 350 other events per year, conference commissioner Larry Scott said in this morning’s official announcement (above) of the 12-year deal, estimated to be worth $3 billion. The Pac-12 TV network doesn’t have distribution agreements yet, but Scott said that was a matter of time.
“Our conversations got to a point where we got a level of confidence in our distribution,” Scott said.
CAA-affiliated Evolution Media Capital served as a media and financial advisor to the conference on the deal.
Each Pac-12 school (including Utah and Colorado, which formally join the conference July 1) will earn $21 million in annual revenue, which Scott said will enable some sports that the schools had cut for budget reasons to be reinstated.
For Pac-12 fans, the deal promises saturation coverage of the conference’s marquee sporting events, along with widespread attention to the more niche sports.
Of the 80 football games played by conference schools each year, 44 will appear on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox and FX (10 of those games will be national broadcasts, including four on ESPN networks Thursdays and four on Fridays). The remaining 36 – usually three per week – will appear on the new Pac-12 Network.
The new Pac-12 football championship game (between the winners of the conference’s new North and South football divisions) will debut this fall in Friday primetime on Fox, then alternate with ESPN each ensuing year.
For men’s basketball, ESPN networks and Fox Sports Net will broadcast 68 games a season, with every other contest (numbering at least 120) airing on the Pac-12 TV and/or digital networks. ESPN and Fox/FX will alternate coverage of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament, with the Pac-12 Network televising opening round games.
ESPN networks will also air five Pac-12 women’s basketball games per year and the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament title game, along with 10 Olympic sports events.
More than 30 different men’s and women’s sports will be featured on the Pac-12 Network, with its digital companion – available online, on mobile and on tablets – offering “several hundred” event broadcasts annually.
The teams from ESPN and Fox will essentially draft games to determine who televises what.
“We compete vigorously with each other, but we still have a history of partnering around the world and in the United States,” ESPN senior veep of college programming Burke Magnus said.
The Pac-12 networks will be wholly owned by the conference, which is creating Pac-12 Media Enterprises for the task. The new company will independently manage and sell all sponsoring and licensing rights controlled by the Pac-12, including the football and basketball championships that Fox Sports previously supervised, and also help distribute academic and campus-related programming to its fan base.