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SBD/Issue 164/Collegiate Sports
Big 12, Pac-10 Examining TV, Football Scheduling Partnership
Published May 7, 2010
Big 12 and Pac-10 officials "examined possible TV alliances as well as scheduling partnerships in football during preliminary talks Wednesday and Thursday in Phoenix," according to Chuck Carlton of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe confirmed the talks with Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott. Beebe: "Larry and I have talked for several months in regards to collaborating to enhance media value and working in any ways that might aid the two leagues and be a helpful alliance." Carlton notes possibilities include "working together on TV contracts or perhaps even a shared network." But Beebe added that the conferences "intend to keep separate identities." Beebe: "There's no desire to merge the two" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/7). In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff writes an alliance between the Big 12 and Pac-10 "could strengthen their position in television negotiations." As the two major conferences west of the Mississippi River, their schools are located "in or near six of the nation's top 13 media markets." The Big 12 has football TV contracts with ABC/ESPN through '16 and with FSN through '12. The Pac-10 has deals with ABC/ESPN and FSN through '12 and is "expected to begin negotiating new deals this year" (K.C. STAR, 5/7). ESPN.com's Ted Miller wrote both the Big 12 and Pac-10 "want -- need -- to sign new contracts that help them keep pace with the SEC and Big Ten" (ESPN.com, 5/6).
EXPANSION ON THE TABLE: The Pac-10's Scott said, "Going forward, we're looking at the value of adding two teams, since that is a requirement by the NCAA in order to have a league championship game. We've been analyzing all of our TV possibilities and having a title game is regarded as a high priority." He noted the Pac-10 will be negotiating "future TV deals over the first half of 2011." Scott: "Therefore, it is important for us by the end of this calendar year to make a final determination whether to expand or not." Scott added, "In our preliminary analysis, a network would have a lot of interest and would be a good model. But, I can't sit here today and say whether we will or won't have a network" (FANHOUSE.com, 5/6).