The Pac-12 will announce the largest television rights fees deal in college conference history on Wednesday CBSSports.com has learned.
Initial reports Tuesday that the league would announce a 12-year, $2.7 billion agreement with ESPN and Fox were low, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Instead, the new deal will make the Pac-12 No. 1 among all conferences in an age where rights fees are skyrocketing. The 12-year, $3 billion deal will be worth an average of more than $20 million per school each year over the course of the agreement. The final numbers could be staggering considering that the Pac-12 is going to announce a broadcast and cable deal only at this time. There is the digitial (phone/Internet) and network component still out there.
In the reports that surfaced Tuesday Pac-12 teams would average $18.75 million per year per school. That figure alone would double the current take of Pac-10 schools. The New York Times also reported the deal Tuesday morning.
How a sleepy league that was routinely No. 4 rights fees could shoot up to to No. 1 is explained here.
The announcement should mark the ultimate payoff for commissioner Larry Scott. The former CEO of the Women's Tennis Association has been on the job less than two years. Already he has shaken up not only his league but also college sports. He nearly succeeded last year in a raid of the Big 12 in expanding the Pac-10 from 10 to 16 teams. Falling short of that, the league invited Utah and Colorado and instituted a championship game beginning this year.
Scott already is on record intending to market the Pac-12 in Pacific Rim countries, including China.
NBC-Universal dropped out of the Pac-12 idding last week according to the Sports Business Journal. The conference will be part of a Saturday night primetime package on ESPN also according to SBJ.
The league has scheduled a Wednesday morning press conference at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, meaning Arizona State will be the "host" school of the largest TV deal in college history.