PAC-12 Media Deal Held Up By Bad Optics And Layoffs, University President Claims

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The PAC-12 could have a media deal in place, but poor economic conditions might be delaying an announcement.

Commissioner George Kliavkoff has been hunting for a new deal since last year, but there’s been little proof to suggest anything concrete has been done.

In fact, there’s been nonstop chaos surrounding the situation. There are conflicting reports about who might be interested, no huge check has been signed and the Big 12 is just waiting to raid the PAC-12.

Well, it turns out layoffs might actually be holding up a deal being announced, according to Washington State president Kirk Schulz.

PAC-12 media deal held up by layoffs?

“I think it’s just the environment, It’s the uncertainty in the economy, the layoffs in the tech sector and other places. I know at least one of the partners we were talking to said, ‘We’re ready to sign today, but the optics of us announcing that we’re laying off X number of people and we signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the Pac-12 are just not the best, so we’re going to have to wait six weeks. Clearly, the optics are something those folks are really worried about,” Schulz told WSU regent Enrique Cerna in a YouTube conversation about the situation, according to The Mercury News.

Schulz also added the “past five months is pretty close to the worst” time in years to negotiate a new media deal.

Washington State president Kirk Schulz hints economic conditions are holding up new media deal. (Photo by Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While the economic conditions might be causing problems, the WSU president is confident something will get done.

“We’ve continued to have those conversations with recognizable major media outlets. They are very interested in the Pac-12. People have to remember … we occupy a coveted time slot (7:30 p.m. Pacific) where people need live sports content,” the PAC-12 university official further added.

Is a deal imminent?

ESPN and Amazon are both believed to be in the mix to land the PAC-12’s rights, and both are going through layoffs.

The sports network has announced significant layoffs, and Amazon is cutting thousands of jobs, according to the same report. That would seem to indicate Schulz is talking about one of those two.

Will the PAC-12 land a new media deal? (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The only thing that’s a certainty is the longer this situation drags on, the worse it gets for the west coast conference. Teams need money and stability to survive.

Right now, the PAC-12 simply doesn’t have it. It sounds like the framework of a deal has been agreed to, judging from Schulz’s comments. However, nothing is official until the ink dries.

The Big 12 will only become more and more tempting the longer this situation drags on. That’s a guarantee, and it’s one of the few guarantees fans have right now.

Will the PAC-12 collapse? (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

If it’s really just optics holding everything up, a deal could be announced this summer. However, I wouldn’t recommend putting much stock in anything until people start putting pen to paper. Until then, everything is speculation for the most part.

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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