Latest intel on timeline for new Pac-12 media rights deal

The Pac-12 Conference is in the midst of negotiating a new media rights deal after news broke in June that members USC and UCLA will be leaving for the Big Ten by 2024. However, according to WildcatAuthority’s Jason Scheer, a deal may not even happen this year.

“None of the Pac-12 presidents or athletics directors expect a deal this week, which isn’t a surprise,” Scheer wrote. “However, we’ve heard from sources the expectation is that a deal may not even come this year. Could change, but patience will be tested in a big way.”

At the start of July, the Pac-12 released a statement announcing the start of its next round of media negotiations.

“The Pac-12 Board of Directors met this morning and authorized the Conference to immediately begin negotiations for its next media rights agreements,” the conference said in a statement.

Following the announcement, CBS Sports’ Shehan Jeyarajah put some perspective on what the Pac-12’s goal is.

“Put into plain English: Pac-12 schools want to understand how much money is on the table for them if the current conference continues to exist post-USC/UCLA,” Jeyarajah wrote. “If the numbers are bad, they’ll quickly try to find new landing spots.”

In an exclusive interview with 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello at Pac-12 Media Days, commissioner George Kliavkoff was asked about adding potential members and if that will affect the negotiations.

“Yeah, and it’s a chicken and egg, right? But I think in the chronology, media rights comes first,” Kliavkoff said. “You have to have a sense for what that looks like, because if you invite someone to join your conference, they’re gonna want to know how long is the grant of rights and what am I getting? So it kind of makes sense to do the media rights deal first. Our media rights deal will accelerate significantly after the Big Ten deal gets done. As soon as the Big Ten deal gets done, we’re going to get out of the market, and it’ll still take several months. Again, I have no control over the Big Ten timing. But my guess is sometime in this calendar year, we’ll be done with our media rights deal. And if that’s the case, then we can turn our attention to expansion.”

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Kliavkoff also revealed that 12 members in the conference is not the goal.

“No. Ten is viable, but I think the preference is to take a serious look at expansion and, if the right candidates are out there, expand,” Kliavkoff said. “I think when you get to 16 — certainly beyond 16 — it becomes very, very difficult to do conference scheduling and manage the conference in all sports. You have football teams that are gonna go years without playing each other.”

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