PAC-12’s Search For A New Television Deal Takes Embarrassing Turn

Pac-12 logo on football field

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Last summer, the college football world was turned on its head after a number of notable Power 5 programs announced their plans to abandon the conference they called home in the hopes of increasing their prestige.

That included Texas and Oklahoma, who opted to leave the Big 12 behind in favor of the SEC. The PAC-12 also found itself facing a bit of an existential crisis, as it was forced to brace for the exit of two of its most notable members after USC and UCLA revealed they’d be defecting to the Big Ten.

That second development had some major financial implications for a conference that suddenly found itself without two of the most valuable bargaining chips it had when it came to negotiating a new television deal, as its current contract with Fox and ESPN is set to expire in 2024.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff has made it clear he’s not in a huge rush to ink a new deal with a broadcasting partner. However, based on what we know, media companies aren’t exactly banging down the conference’s door thanks to a level of interest that could politely be described as “wildly apathetic.”

The Pac-12 tried (and, barring a fairly unlikely development, failed) to court Amazon last year, and earlier this month, both CBS and Turner took themselves out of the running.

On Thursday, they did get some good news after Apple TV reportedly expressed interest. That might not be the biggest platform imaginable, but it’s still a much better look than another name Brett McMurphy of Action Network says has tossed its hat in the ring: ION TV, a channel that currently devotes the bulk of its programming to syndicated police dramas and infomercials.

I guess a deal with ION would be better than nothing, but if the PAC-12 has to stoop to that level in order to get its games on television, it seems like that could end up being the last media rights deal the conference ever signs prior to its seemingly inevitable extinction.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.