Pac-12 logo Jul 21, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; The Pac-12 Conference logo during Pac-12 Media Day at Resorts World Las Vegas in 2023.. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports.)

The Pac-12’s leadership presented a media rights deal to the conference’s schools on Tuesday, and it’s reportedly an all-streaming deal with Apple.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported the news, saying the proposed deal “would have incentivized tiers” potentially providing the deal “strong upside” if subscription targets are met.

This seems similar to Apple’s deal with MLS. That deal, paying a reported $2.5 billion over ten years, also contains a subscription threshold to trigger Apple sharing revenue with the league.

More specific details about Apple’s reported proposal to the Pac-12 remain uncertain, including the length and value of the possible deal.

The potential of every Pac-12 game being on a streaming platform may give some fans pause, but a deal with Apple doesn’t completely end the possibility of games on linear networks. Despite its deal with Apple, MLS inked a deal with Fox Sports to air 34 regular season matches, eight playoff matches, and MLS Cup across Fox and FS1 on a non-exclusive basis. Could we see something similar with the Pac-12 and a network like ESPN, especially for those late-night games that ESPN has been rumored to crave?

Apple has been linked to a media rights deal with the Pac-12 for years, going back to 2019. In 2020, Apple was rumored to be a bidder for the Pac-12’s rights, and the company became linked to the conference yet again earlier this year. In February, reports indicated that “Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff could present Apple as a possibility to his schools soon,” which seemingly took more than five months to happen.

Amazon was also reported as a potential partner for the Pac-12. However, all of those reports came before last week, when Colorado decided to leave the conference and return to the Big 12 next summer. Over the last week, speculation over the Pac-12’s future, and whether or not any more schools would follow Colorado out the door, has only continued to grow.

[Pete Thamel]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.