This breaking now from John Ourand and Michael Smith in this morning’s edition of Sports Business Daily. Their sources tell them that the Pacific 12 Conference will sign a 12 year deal with ESPN and Fox worth an estimated $2.7 billion dollars or $225 million per year starting with the 2012-13 season. A formal announcement is expected this week and could come as early as tomorrow.
As John and Michael report, it’s a major blow to NBC/Comcast which was hoping to gain the rights and get a foothold in college sports.
ESPN will get football and basketball rights along with some Olympic Sports. Through ESPN, ABC will get a package of primetime games.
Fox also gets football and basketball games. Expect Fox to start airing football games in primetime as will its cable partner, FX. Fox Sports Net will air basketball games.
Both ESPN and Fox will share coverage of the Pac 12 Basketball Tournament.
NBC/Comcast is still in play for operation of a Pac 12 Network, but according to Ourand and Smith, it’s not interested in owning it. We’ll see where that leads.
When a formal announcement is made, expect to see it here.