Pac-10 Looking To Score College Sports' Richest Media Contract
The Pac-10, which is "deep into its talks with ESPN and Fox, is seeking the richest media contract among all college conferences," according to sources cited by Ourand & Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The conference is expanding to 12 schools next season with the addition of Colorado and Utah and has been in "exclusive negotiating windows with both networks." Sources indicated that the Pac-10 "has told the media companies that it wants considerably more than the $205 million per year that the SEC got combined from CBS and ESPN for an all-in package." The league currently receives about $54M annually in media rights fees from ESPN and Fox, the "lowest of the six major conferences." The Pac-10 "allowed its exclusive negotiating window with ESPN to lapse earlier this month," and also is "expected to let its exclusive negotiating window with Fox lapse without a deal at the end of the month." The conference then would "go to an open market in April with a comprehensive package of rights to sell, which would include football and basketball, online and full marketing rights." Sources noted that "during its negotiation with ESPN, the Pac-10 was seeking to get more than four times the $25 million the network currently is paying for its package of football games" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/21 issue).