ESPN/PAC-12 Not Having ‘Substantive Talks’ As Conference Fights To Survive: REPORT

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The PAC-12’s fight for a new media deal continues to look very bleak.

Commissioner George Kliavkoff has been doing his best to land a new deal for the conference, but so far, nothing has come to fruition. The PAC-12 is holding out hope ESPN might come in and save the day with a huge check.

There had previously been reports ESPN wasn’t interested in the PAC-12’s tier one media rights, but there was some dispute at the time how accurate that claim was.

Will the PAC-12 survive? (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

ESPN hasn’t moved on the PAC-12.

Now, it sounds like the situation definitely hasn’t improved between the two sides. Andrew Marchand, one of America’s best reporters when it comes to sports and media, reported Monday the two sides “are having no substantive talks at this time.”

“ESPN passed on the Big Ten, Sunday Ticket, Premier League, Champions League and MLS, so the idea that it will be completely out on the Pac-12 is not in the least bit surprising. Things can always change, and maybe the Pac-12 can figure out a creative way to get ESPN involved, but right now that seems very unlikely,” Marchand explained in his Monday report.

The conference is running out of time and money.

If ESPN bows out of the hunt for the PAC-12’s main media rights, the conference might have to pivot to a streaming giant for a payday.

The PAC-12’s goal is for members to earn at least $31.7 million annually from its new media deal. That’s the number the Big 12 secured, and Kliavkoff is gunning for it.

Multiple PAC-12 officials have tried their best to claim everything will be fine and the conference is strong. However, with every single day that passes without a deal, it starts to look more and more like a Baghdad Bob situation.

Sure, you can claim Iraq is winning the war, but we can all see the American tanks on the horizon. That’s increasingly the energy people are seeing out of the west coast conference.

The PAC-12 is struggling to land a new media deal. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

As Marchand pointed out, things could change and perhaps a deal could happen. However, at the moment, Marchand’s latest update is a really bad sign for the PAC-12. We’re nearing the end of May and no deal has been reached. It might be time to start getting worried.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. Kliavkoff’s Sell-By Date has passed. I don’t think anyone is buying his pronouncements or his excuses. I cannot imagine the PAC Presidents going the streaming route after the disaster of the PAC Network, which they still owe $50 million on.

    The beady-eyed cynic in me finds it darkly humorous that ESPN “reports” on this, as if they were a disinterested party. They are the crooks who run the show, and know precisely what the endgame is. After all, they’re the ones paying the bills…

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