Jon Wilner blogged the figure recently on the San Jose Mercury News blog:
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott asked Fox for approximately $300 million annually for the league’s broadcasting rights during the just-completed exclusive negotiating window, according to sources.
(Fox turned him down, of course, which is why the league is now on the open market).
It’s a monumental, colossal figure, far beyond what the Big Ten and the SEC receive, and not all that surprising given:
1) Scott’s aggressive nature 2) the fact that the Pac-12 had nothing to lose by asking 3) the sizzling market for college sports rights and 4) the unprecedented amount of programming the conference is offering.
More numbers from a WSJ.com piece on the kind of contract Pac-12 is looking from TV executives:
The Pac-12 conference is seeking a 10-year deal worth $220 million a year, plus a commitment to launch a regional sports network, people with knowledge of the talks say. Start-up costs for such a venture would likely run in the neighborhood of $100 million, most of which would come from the media partner. Negotiations are likely to conclude in the next few weeks.
Executives including Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis, Matt Bond, who oversees content distribution, and Jon Litner, who leads Versus and the company's regional sports networks, see a deal as a potential rainmaker that will improve the Versus sports network and allow the company to collect carriage fees for a Pac-12 network, according to people familiar with the matter.
They also fear watching another company launch a Pac-12 network and then being forced to pay to include it on their cable systems, these people said.
Wouldn't it have been cool if we saw similar stories of UCLA athletics official pitching apparel contract to prospective companies and get Adidas, Nike, UA into a bidding war getting Bruins the best deal possible?
Also, on the Pac-12 front there has been news about the conference hiring a former NFL exective to "run" this year's upcoming conference championship game.
We have expressed a lot of reservations about Scott's handling of the expansion efforts last off-season. Lot of us will remain skeptical until we see the final payoff from new tv contracts. That said, it is good to hear Scott making such aggressive pitches to improve the conference's standing. He seems to have a big picture vision that had been sorely lacking for decades. The same lack of big picture vision that is currently responsible for accelerated demise of UCLA athletics under the weak and feeble leadership of Dan Guerrero.