Things have been quiet on the Pac-12 TV rights front for the last few weeks, but things got a bit louder today.
In the Mercury News, Jon Wilner wrote about the conference and Amazon, noting he was told by a source that conference commissioner George Kliavkoff “is focused on digital,” a sentiment Kliavkoff himself admitted in July during Pac-12 media days. Other sources then elaborated that Amazon was the digital outlet in mind.
But six weeks later, some clarity has emerged: A multi-year partnership with Amazon is under consideration.
“It’s smart,” a second source said. “They could get more money relative to their real media value with Amazon.”
Wilner’s article also notes that its unclear when the exclusive 30-day negotiation window between the Pac-12, ESPN, and Fox started, though an article from John Canzano in August stated the Pac-12 and ESPN had engaged in “productive” conversations.
At the beginning of July, the Pac-12 announced that the conference was ready to negotiate its next media rights agreement. Rumors of an alliance with the ACC and ACC Network grew, with ESPN being linked as the favorite for the conference’s rights. At the end of the month, it was reported that the conference would be targeting a deal of five or six years.
A deal with Amazon would be quite interesting for the Pac-12, especially since the tech company linked to college football rights has been Apple, which was involved in the bidding for the Big Ten’s rights. With Amazon and the Pac-12 now getting closer to a deal, where would that leave Apple? Well, it would seem to be the Big 12 or bust if the company wants to add college football to MLB and MLS games, and its last shot at the NFL for the next decade remains Sunday Ticket (which still hasn’t been closed by any of the interested companies).