The prospect of any kind of partnership between the Big 12 and Pac-12 reportedly caught fire on Monday.
As the SEC and the Big Ten shy away from the rest of the major collegiate conferences, the partnership between the Big 12 and the Pac-12 has been widely discussed in the past two weeks, According to ESPN’s Pete Tamil,. However, after the two sides failed to form a mutually beneficial union, the talks officially ended on Monday.
According to ESPN, a “full merger” between the two conferences was part of the discussions, as was the combination of compiling rights and possible scheduling arrangements. Consolidation was the most preferred option. But in the end, however, it was decided that combining the two conferences would not lead to an adequate increase in media rights revenue.
A Pac12 source briefed on the talks said Big 12 had expressed interest on Friday in the prospect of exploring a full merger. The Big 12 source said of the three options that Pac-12 put together — pooling rights, the scheduling concept or the full collection of tournaments — the only scenario that could have value driven by the sheer numbers of schools and population areas was the full consolidation of tournaments.
A Pac-12 source indicated that Big 12 was interested in this option. A source from the Big 12 said the Big 12 needed more time to explore this option further, which it did over the weekend and decided not to explore any other options.
Could the Big 12 move on to add Pac-12 schools?
Pac-12 members USC and UCLA announced on June 30 that they would be leaving the conference for the Big Ten, a massive step ahead of the next round of media rights agreements. While the addition of the Los Angeles market significantly boosts the impending Big Ten deal, the value of the upcoming Pac-12 deal has been a huge hit.
in the aftermath, Pac-12 is left to explore all options to secure its futurewhich led to these discussions with the Big 12.
But now that these conversations have come and gone, what could happen next?
The Big 12 will likely add some of its remaining Pac-12 members — Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah — and has been the subject of numerous media reports. In fact, CBS Sports reported Monday night that the “door is still open” for the remaining 12 to invite Pac-12 teams.
Oregon and Washington, considered by some to be the most valuable members of the Pac-12, “are desperate to get to the Big Ten,” Dan Wetzel reported from Yahoo Sports last week. There’s also the Notre Dame stature, which weighs in on whether or not you’ll remain independent. It was widely reported that the Big Ten would love the addition of Notre Dame.
From a media rights perspective, the Pac-12 is currently in an exclusive 30-day negotiating window with ESPN and Fox. The TV numbers presented should pretty much indicate what will happen in the coming weeks and months.
Meanwhile, Big 12 has its own media rights negotiations on the horizon. The Big 12 deal expires in 2025, a year after the Pac-12 deal. Brett Yurmark, the new commissioner for the Big 12, He said last week that Big 12 is “open for business” He stressed the importance of the upcoming media rights contract.
“We will spare no effort in paying for the conference,” Yormark said on Big 12 Media days. “Exploration and electives are at the forefront of what we focus on. Everything we do must create momentum for these. [media rights] Negotiation.”
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