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PAC-12 fans shouldn’t expect a new media deal in the immediate future.
The conference continues to try to land a new media deal, and there has been some chatter April could be when something gets worked out or falls apart.
There have been plenty of dueling narratives, and it now seems like there won’t be a new deal this month.
Pete Thamel reported late Thursday afternoon the expectation is the PAC-12 won’t get a deal done until “somewhere later this spring or summer.”
What does the future hold for the PAC-12?
The PAC-12’s hunt for a new media has become one of the most fascinating stories in all of sports. Conference and university officials have tried to urge calm and optimism.
However, there’s nothing the public has seen to indicate a deal is close to being signed.
University of Arizona president Robert Robbins, who had previously sounded very optimistic about a deal getting done, recently said he hasn’t seen anything to suggest it will get done soon.
“I have heard nothing to suggest [a deal is] imminent. There’s all these things about, well, ‘We want to wait until [after] the Final Four.’ That has nothing to do with it. It has to do with assessing who is the right fit, who assesses us. I hope [commissioner George Kliavkoff] gets something done sooner rather than later so that the whole thing stops, so we don’t have focus on it. [But] I am perfectly willing to sit here and wait,” Robbins told CBS Sports in late March.
Well, the Final Four is over, and a deal now reportedly won’t get done for a few months.
What are the stakes?
As we’ve covered extensively here at OutKick, the biggest problem for the PAC-12 is a lack of stability. The Big 12 has a guaranteed media deal that pays conference members $31.7 million annually.
The longer the PAC-12 goes without a deal, the more tempting the Big 12 might start to get. Money rules the day in college sports.
Right now, George Kliavkoff’s conference doesn’t have a guaranteed deal after its current one. The Big 12 does. That’s a problem and with every day that passes, the situation gets more dire.
Furthermore, there’s been some reporting Oregon and Washington believe Big Ten invites are waiting for them. That hasn’t happened yet, and it might not happen at all. However, if they believe huge paydays are waiting for them, would they sign a lowball deal to stay in the PAC-12? Perhaps, but that’s a very tough call to make.
The situation remains incredibly fluid and will likely remain in that state until the pen hits the paper. College sports are crazy, and the PAC-12’s media rights situation is right near the top of the list of wildest stuff happening right now.