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Volume 26 No. 204
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Larry Scott: Pac-12 Won't Sell Media Rights To Private Equity Firm

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said that the conference has "decided against selling ownership in its media rights to a private equity firm," but it "still could take on a strategic partner," according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. Scott said that the conference's presidents and chancellors have "ruled out an arrangement with a 'pure financial institution' that would receive minority ownership in a media rights holding company and, in return, provide each campus with tens of millions in up-front cash." Still, the Pac-12 "continues to examine partnerships with media or tech companies that could involve selling ownership for cash but would better position the conference for media rights negotiations" in '23-24. Over the years, the Pac-12 has "occasionally engaged in what Scott terms 'look-ins' to establish a valuation for its media rights, but because of budget stress and the expanding revenue gap with other conferences, this exercise took on greater urgency." The conference reportedly "sought investments" in the $500-$750M range. Scott said the response "has convinced me and our members that we're sitting on a lot of unrealized value, and we have reason to be confident when our rights become available" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 9/27).