For months now, we have waited to see who the Pac-12 would sign their TV rights for Football and Basketball. It is starting to look increasingly likely that Amazon or Apple TV+ may be the new home of the Pac-12. This comes as ESPN has reportedly taken itself out of the running to maintain Pac-12’s primary media rights as the network has been looking into new deals.
ESPN and Fox currently have media rights deals for Pac-12 with an expiration date of July 1st, 2024. According to sources ESPN is “taking a never-say-never approach when it comes to potential partners as negotiations continue,” and possibly could smaller package secondary rights to late-night Tier 1 games. However, reports have said that ESPN is not willing to pay a high price for the Pac-12. This has opened the door for streaming companies to come in and become the main option.
Alongside ESPN, FOX and other networks haven’t rushed to pick up Pac-12’s content, especially since both USC and UCLA left the conference. It is questionable who will sign a new deal for its primary media rights of Tier 1 games, but CBS Sports reports “Pac-12 remains confident it will land TV media rights deal with a major carrier,” possibly with NBC Universal.
“The league’s Tier I content would likely be categorized as a minimum of two games a week for a rightsholder across a typical 14-week season. Those 28 games may be valued at approximately $200 million, an average of $7 million per game. It has been assumed that an approximate $300 million rights deal might be needed to keep some Pac-12 schools from jumping to the Big 12. If a Tier I deal is closed at that valuation, the league would need to seek at least $100 million for the estimated 47-50 remaining games in the Pac-12 inventory (based on the league remaining at 10 teams.)”
The reports that Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ are now leaders for the Pac-12 TV deal. Apple TV looks to be the top contender for signing a contract for all Pac-12’s major games, however, Amazon could potentially still have the option to stream Friday night games. Negotiations are still taking place, leaving fans with only speculation as to how a future deal will play out.
There is also talk that The CW may also get some of the TV rights, but exactly how that will work out is unknown at this time.
Media rights deals for football and basketball are scheduled to begin in 2024. Now according to Washington State University President Kirk Schulz, we should expect a Pac-12 Media deal to be announced by the end of June 2023. For now, we will have to wait and see what happens and if Amazon or Apple TV+ will win any of the rights.