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Volume 26 No. 207
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Pac-12 Leaders Set To Discuss Status Of Possible Equity Sale

Pac-12 leaders will convene Saturday in Las Vegas, where investment advisory firm The Raine Group will brief presidents, chancellors and ADs on the "status of a possible equity sale that could generate a needed cash infusion," according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. Colorado Chancellor and Pac-12 BOD Chair Phil DiStefano does "not expect a decision this week." He said, "I don’t see us taking any action based on Raine’s report, but it’s important that we’re all hearing the same thing." The Pac-12 retained The Raine Group in late January to "identify an equity partner." At the time, Raine co-Founder Joe Ravitch indicated that the "due-diligence process could stretch into May" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 3/14).

NET LOSSES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Rachel Bachman wrote Pac-12 men's basketball is "having its darkest and stormiest season," and some school leaders "worry that the struggles in football and men’s basketball could worsen with schools’ growing financial challenges." Lagging revenues from the seven-year-old Pac-12 Networks have "contributed to the conference falling behind." The decision to launch a network "without an established media partner," made by Commissioner Larry Scott and school presidents/chancellors, gave the conference "more control." But the network has "proved costly to operate and difficult to sell to carriers." The revenue gap between the Pac-12 and other Power Five conferences is "widening and could continue to grow" until '24, when the current $3B rights deals with Fox and ESPN "expire and new ones are expected to fetch another big payday." Stanford AD Bernard Muir said, "We’re concerned. We want to stay in the game. We want to be competitive" (WSJ.com, 3/13).