A Pac-12 logo at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in November 2022. Nov 26, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Pac-12 Conference logo at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t appear that the Pac-12 will be getting a new set of media rights deals for Christmas this year.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of the Pac-12 Championship game, commissioner George Kliavkoff said that an announcement on media rights shouldn’t be expected by the end of 2022, per Jon Wilner of the Mercury News.

Asked about the timing of a media deal, Kliavkoff said: “I would not expect an announcement in the balance of this calendar year.”

Earlier this summer, it seemed like the Pac-12 would be getting a deal done sooner rather than later. The conference announced it was ready to begin media rights negotiations in July, and networks were being tabbed as favorites. But in October, the exclusive negotiating window between the Pac-12 and current partners ESPN and Fox ended, presumably opening the door for a new bidder (like Amazon) to enter the picture. Then the Big 12 sealed its new media rights deals with ESPN and Fox, the Pac-12 expressed optimism about its eventual deals, and everything went radio silent.

Kliavkoff also somewhat expanded on the timeline for the Pac-12’s media rights and the conference’s future, saying he expects the conference’s members to sign a grant of rights agreement once a new set of deals is reached.

The conference is negotiating with its current partners, Fox and ESPN, and with a group of newcomers to the college football media space, including Amazon.

Because rights to the Big Ten and Big 12 have been locked up into the 2030s, the Pac-12 stands as the only Power Five conference with football inventory available on the market through the remainder of the decade.

Once a media deal is reached, Kliavkoff said, he will take the proposal to the university presidents and ask them to sign a grant-of-rights agreement binding their media revenue to the conference.

“I don’t anticipate any issues,” he said.

Only then would the conference explore expansion options.

In short, we’re still in a holding pattern.

The Pac-12’s status as the last remaining Power 5 conference without a long-term deal could work in its favor, especially when it comes to media companies who desperately want big-time college football rights and don’t have any. However, the conference’s value without UCLA and USC is still largely unknown, and despite that advantage, it could be looking at a decrease in annual fees when compared to its current long-term deals with ESPN and Fox.

[Mercury News]

About Joe Lucia

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