After months of negotiations, the numbers are in, and the New York Times is reporting that the Pac-12 will sign a deal with Fox and ESPN that is worth $3 billion. Yes, you read that right, $3,000,000,000, over a 12 year period. That is the equivalent of $22 million per school per year. Currently, the ESPN deal with the SEC is worth just over $18 million per school, per year.
By early reports, the Pac-12 will be starting it's own TV network in 2012, and selling marquee football games to Fox and ESPN. NYT has the details most important to us:
Games will be carried on two broadcast networks - Fox and ABC - and five cable channels - ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FX and Fox Sports Net. Fox and ESPN will rotate coverage of the conference's football championship game and its basketball tournament.
Unfortunately, we'll still have to deal with FSN at it's regional package frustrations, but Sports Business Daily is reporting that this will only be for basketball. Football games should be carried nationally on all other networks. ESPN and Fox will alternate broadcast of the Pac-12 championship game.
It's also important to note that the Pac-12 will retain ownership of it's own network, so I can only assume that this could be another area for not only revenue generation, but for moving forward with media distribution. The Pac-12 should have the authority to market this network as it wishes, which is great news for fans.
Overall, this is pretty awesome. The Pac-12 is now on par with every other conference in terms of media compensation. It's been a long time in the stone ages, but Larry Scott has done a masterful job so far in his short time leading the conference.
For how this affects Oregon, this will provide a great boost the bottom line of the athletic department, and take a lot of pressure that's been building financially over the last few years. This money will give the Ducks a huge advantage over the rest of the conference, and especially the Pac-12 North. While other schools struggle to simply keep their sports alive, the relatively financially healthy Ducks can use this money to innovate and hopefully make Oregon one of the premier athletic departments in the country.