The Pacific-10 Conference will start its own network on cable television in 2012 but will also sell most of its marquee football and basketball games to Fox and ESPN for about $3 billion over 12 years, more than quadrupling what the two companies have been paying.
It is the richest conference deal ever. The Pac-10, which is expected to announce the agreements Wednesday, is following the media model of the Big Ten Conference, which in 2007 created its own network and negotiated a 10-year, $1 billion deal with ESPN.
But a critical difference between the conferences’ deals is that the Pac-10 will retain full ownership of its network. Fox Cable Networks owns 49 percent of the Big Ten channel. Another recently created college channel, the Longhorn Network, which will focus on University of Texas sports, culture and academics, is owned by ESPN as a result of a 20-year, $300 million payment.
Do people still say the phrase "making it rain" to illustrate a shower of cash? Because, if so, Larry Scott just made it rain. There is a lot of information in there that I am not legally allowed to link to, so go and read it yourself! Basically, Larry Scott just sold a lot of the rights to ESPN and Fox, which is great. They also created the Pac-12 network and will own it 100%, unlike other conferences.
The new Pac-12 channel will carry hundreds of sporting events a year. Further, an ESPN3.com-style digital channel is going to be created! Huge news. Hopefully, the day of squinting at a crummy stream are over! Thanks, Larry Scott! You are infinitely better than Tom Hansen! GO PAC-12 AND BEARS