Sources: Apple becomes most likely play for Pac-12

  • Pete Thamel Heather Dinich Close Heather Dinich ESPN Elder Author College football reporter Signed up with in 2007 Graduate of Indiana University Aug 1, 2023

    , 04:29 PM ET After months of negotiations and unpredictability, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff on Tuesday

  • provided the conference’s presidents and chancellors with a prospective, primarily subscription-based Apple streaming offer for its tv contract that ends after this school year, according to numerous sources.While a number of choices were presented, the Apple streaming deal became the likely leader at this point, bringing some clearness to a prolonged process that frustrated lots of within the league and ultimately played a role in Colorado’s

    choice last week to sign up with the Huge 12. Monetary and exposure concerns still loom, however, and outside pressure from the Big 12 remains.There are not expected to be any impending choices on whether this TV offer is enough to calm Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, which are being heavily courted by the Big 12. The Arizona board of regents, which manages Arizona and ASU, is scheduled to satisfy later Tuesday, but no decision is expected after the meeting.Editor’s Picks 2 Related According to sources, the first year of what’s anticipated to be a relatively short-term agreement with Apple would start in 2024-25 and begin relatively low relative to the league’s hopes. But the deal, sources said, would incrementally improve and possibly be competitive with its peers in the Huge 12 and ACC down the road, provided specific membership numbers are met.When the Big 12’s brand-new TV deal begins in 2025, those schools will see an increase to an average of$31.7 million. That has actually long been the barometer at which the Pac-12 deal was expected to be measured.After the meeting Tuesday early morning, there stayed uncertainty about the potential value of the Pac-12 deal because of the unidentified difference of subscriptions. Sources knowledgeable about the negotiations told ESPN the Pac-12 remains in a much better position now than it was a month and a half ago to sell digital memberships thanks to modifications in the media landscape.Kliavkoff said recently at Pac-12 media days in Las Vegas that the longer

    the league waited, the much better the choices ended up being.”There’s a hidden shift in the media market that’s taking place, and we’re long term benefiting from that,”he said July 21. An Apple spokesperson did not right away respond to ask for comment.Apple has dived into sports rights in the last few years, inking deals with Big league Baseball in addition to a special rights handle Major League Soccer that started this season and has been helped by the arrival of Lionel Messi with Inter Miami. Based on those previous deals with MLB and MLS, Apple

    does not produce the games, which leaves the Pac-12 and its schools with the production expense and might affect fundamental numbers for the schools.The uncertainty in the Pac-12, on the other hand, has been amplified by the Huge 12’s unabashed interest in the possibility

    of more conference expansion and its six-year, $2.2 billion television deal with ESPN and Fox that goes through 2031. The Big 12 opened its negotiations early and completed its agreement prior to the Pac-12, even though the Pac-12’s existing tv deal ends a year earlier.The truths of the choice also emerged on school Tuesday, as Arizona coach Jedd Fisch resolved regional media about the start of training camp and took numerous questions on realignment. Fisch told local press reporters that he videoconferenced with the households of his players to guarantee them that clearness on the future would emerge soon. He stated a directing force in the process would be”stability any place we land.”

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