The next round of negotiations for Pac-12 media rights was always bound to be interesting. Just how interesting is something we will find out much sooner than expected.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reports that the conference’s board of directors has authorized commissioner George Kliavkof to begin exploring options for a new deal.
The Pac-12 learned last week that it would lose USC and UCLA to Big Ten as early as 2024. That puts the conference in a race, not just for a payday, but for sustainability. Dodd reported last week that the Big 12 is discussing adding six current Pac-12 schools to its roster. The Athletic had a report of its own last week that the Pac-12 board authorized the conference to explore expansion options of its own.
Networks and streaming services are currently locked in a battle to land the second half of the Big Ten’s media rights. Initially, it was expected that the Pac-12 would let that conference set the market before beginning its own search for a new deal. That, of course, was before the conference lost its two most valuable brands.
The conference’s current deals with FOX and ESPN expire in 2024. With so much uncertainty, there are some interesting possibilities at play here.
One may be to see how the market values the Pac-12 as it stands right now. Another could be to see if there is a network or streamer that misses out on the Big Ten and responds by overpaying for another power conference. The final, and most likely, explainer is that the conference wants to be able to show it is in a better position than the Big 12 as the two conferences try to attract each other’s remaining schools.
Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First
“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”
Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.
McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.
McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.
McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.
“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.
McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.
“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”
Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.
“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”
Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett News Media. He also works for ABC8 News and Newsradio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond, Virginia. His prior experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and iHeartradio Richmond. He can be reached by email at Jordan.E.Bondurant@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years
The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.
After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.
Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.
It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.
Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams
In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.
There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.
The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:
#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale
Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.