Posted by Jeff Borzello
Are Colorado and Utah worth that much?
According to our own Dennis Dodd and Sports Business Daily, the Pac-10 Conference has agreed to a media rights deal with ESPN and Fox that is worth $3 billion over 12 years.
The deal averages out to $250 million per year and includes football, basketball and Olympic sports rights. The previous deal that the Pac-10 had with the two networks was worth less than a quarter of the new deal.
The affect on basketball isn’t noticeable for the most part. ESPN will still air the occasional Pac-10 game, while Fox will broadcast basketball games on FSN. The two networks will rotate coverage of the conference tournament.
The 10-team league will expand by two teams on July 1, becoming the Pac-12 when the aforementioned Buffaloes and Utes join the conference.
It seems interesting that the two networks would sign the deal with the Pac-10 when it is in the midst of a basketball swoon with very little in the way of marquee talent and teams. As usual, football means money -- and Oregon did reach the national title game last season.