SBD/October 19, 2010/Colleges

Pac-10 Set To Vote On New Revenue-Sharing Deal Thursday

UCLA, USC Would Initially Get $2M More Than Other Schools Under New Deal

Pac-10 presidents at a meeting Thursday in S.F. will "vote on a proposed $2 million-per-year payout apiece for USC and UCLA above the other 10 members of the new Pac-12 until the year that combined broadcast revenues reach a certain threshold," according to sources cited by Bud Withers of the SEATTLE TIMES. The 12 members "would share equally" once the threshold is reached, but its amount is "still in question, and probably will range from" $130-170M. Consensus on the number "could be fine-tuned already," as Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott is "known to have had back-channel talks with presidents as a result of groundwork laid by athletic directors in recent months." The Pac-10 last week announced that an 11:30am PT press conference with Scott "will follow the meeting of the presidents." That "indicated confidence the commissioner will emerge relatively quickly with resolution on the key issues of divisional alignment and revenue sharing." Withers notes while "most of the major conferences, including the powerful SEC and Big Ten, share TV revenue equally," the Pac-10's current revenue-sharing model is "heavily weighted toward the participants." For conference games, each participating team "reaps 32 percent of the revenue, while the eight non-participants share the remaining" 36%. UCLA and USC, "generally favored by TV, have thus campaigned in recent meetings for a high threshold before the equalizer kicks in, while Scott has tried to build consensus for a unified front when the league, in 2011, begins talks for contracts to take effect" during the '12-13 academic year. Scott: "Everyone is about to get a lot healthier than they've ever been. There's a very robust media market right now" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/19).

GROWTH STRATEGY: Scott said he feels "very good" about how the league's expansion efforts have gone. Scott: "We have been aggressive and progressive, and therefore we've taken on a lot of issues. ... We're making some weighty decisions in a short period of time." He said of a 16-team conference not happening, "There certainly was some disappointment because a lot of people were excited, but our disappointment didn't last long because we were working on parallel tracks, and we had the 12-team conference all teed up." Scott added, "I think we'll be well-positioned regardless of what happens, and our job is to make sure the conference is as strong and well-positioned as it can be. And I think we're going to have a very successful 12-team conference, and that's what we're laser-focused on. In the future, I want to make sure the Pac-12 is one of those places that has got a lot of value, and is a coveted conference to be a part of" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 10/19).

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