Pac-10 Set To Announce Whopping Media Deal Valued At $3B
The Pac-10 Conference has agreed to a media rights deal with ESPN and Fox that is worth $3B over 12 years, according to multiple sources. A formal announcement will come tomorrow. The deal, which averages out to $250M per year, includes football, basketball and Olympic sports rights. It is more than quadruple the conference's current deals with ESPN and Fox. The conference is holding some rights back that it still hopes to use for a dedicated channel.
The deal is a blow to Comcast/NBC, which was vying to pick up the rights for Versus but pulled out last week. Comcast/NBC still is in play to operate a conference channel, but sources said it has told the conference that it is unwilling to actually own such a channel. As part of its deal, ESPN is picking up football and basketball rights, plus rights to a package of Olympic sports. ESPN has committed to carrying an unknown number of football games in primetime on ABC.
Fox picked up football and basketball rights. It will carry football games on its Fox broadcast channel in primetime and on FX. It will carry basketball games on FSN. ESPN and Fox will rotate coverage of the Pac-10's basketball tournament and football championship game. The conference becomes the Pac-12 on July 1 when Colorado and Utah enter the conference.