Timing is everything -- and for the Pac 12 timing means over $3 Billion in future TV revenue. The league has reached a 12-year agreement with ESPN and Fox that will be worth $250 million a year beginning in 2012-13.
That number surpasses the yearly total for every other BCS conference. The Big 10 gets $220 million per year from its media rights, the SEC $205 million. The Big 12 and the ACC recently negotiated new contracts that will produce yearly revenue at $150 million and $155 million respectively.
The Pac 10 was generating only $60 million annually in its previous contract, but a confluence of happy events conspired to bring about the dramatic boost in revenue. First and foremost, the Pac 12 was the only BCS conference available on the open market, and there were three serious bidders -- ESPN, Fox and Comcast.
The available TV markets are attractive, especially should UCLA again become successful in football. The rise in depth of competitors also helps with both Stanford and Oregon making BCS Bowls this past season. Perhaps most important of all, the Pac 12 retains all media rights to all of its members, thus it has more content to offer, and more content to keep for its own Pac 12 Network, which will kick off next year. Unlike the Big 10, the Pac 12 will also retain full ownership of its network and will negotiate distribution rights with a media partner.
Every member of the Pac 12 will see its media rights bottom line dramatically increased.
As a member of the Mountain West, Utah received $1.2 million in media rights revenue last year. When it becomes a full-fledged member of the Pac 12 in 2014, the Utes media rights will bring in over $21 million a year.
On July 1 the conference will officially become the Pac-12, with the addition of Colorado and Utah, which expands the conference from four states (California, Oregon, Arizona and Washington) to six. Under the new deal at least 5 football games will be shown in prime time on ABC and Fox. Other games will be on the ESPN family of networks and FX, as will the league's basketball package. the Pac 12 Championship football game will rotate between ESPN and Fox, and the basketball tournament will also rotate between the two entities.