PAC-12 enters media rights negotiations after UCLA and USC departures

Courtesy+of+PAC-12+conference.

Courtesy of PAC-12 conference.

Ryan Harlan, Sports Contributor

On Tuesday morning, the PAC-12 Conference announced in a statement that the PAC-12 Board of Commissioners approved negotiations on their next media rights agreement deal for the Conference. This comes as rumblings of six schools in the PAC-12 might also be looking to leave the PAC-12 Conference, following the departures of USC and UCLA last week.  

The current media rights deal for the PAC-12 conference that is set to expire in 2024 currently gives each school a share of TV revenue worth $19.8 million distributed through the member schools of the PAC-12 Conference. 

Before the losses of USC and UCLA the media rights deal was expected to earn the conference approximately $500 million and $42 million for each school but with the losses will now be worth closer to approximately $300 million for new media rights deals. 

The fast-tracked authorization by the PAC-12 Board of Commissioners now puts the conference in a 30-day window where they entertain offers from current shareholder TV networks that broadcast PAC-12 sporting events. This includes FOX sports and ESPN before they listen to other offers from TV networks or streaming options. Another option for the PAC-12 conference in these talks would be a partnership with another conference to broadcast games to other TV markets outside of the West Coast. 

The discussions of a new-media rights deal will enter the PAC-12 into a formal negotiation talks with both FOX sports and ESPN to facilitate new revenue with the departure of the Los Angeles TV market, where USC and UCLA reside. What those discussions will look like remains to be seen due to the uncertainty surrounding membership of schools in the PAC-12 Conference, which will inform how much money will be given to the PAC-12.