Today is July 5, 2023 which means 2 things:
- Somebody in the US woke up today with fewer fingers and/or limbs than they woke up with yesterday
- The Pac-12 has officially been involved in media negotiations for 365 days.
Why does this matter to GEHB? Also 2:
- The Pac looked down their noses at BYU as a conference mate for decades, yet scheduled us regularly when they needed to sell tickets and there comeuppance is delicious.
- It still seems inevitable that 2 schools (Colorado and Arizona) may flip sides in the near future.
For a rough recap of events, here's a timeline:
- July 5 - It is announced that that Pac is entering its TV negotiations early to try to figure out WTF is gonna happen after USC and UCLA leave for the Big Ten
- July 29 - At P12 Media Days, George Kliavkoff (GK) fires back at Brett Yormark's comments saying the Big 12 is open for business by saying "We haven't decided if we're going shopping yet" and generally trying to go after the Big 12 even though it was the Big Ten who killed them.
- September 16 - Sports Business Journal reports that ESPN and the Pac are "hundreds of millions apart" in their deal
- October 7 - after failing to renew deal with ESPN and Fox during an exclusive negotiation window, the league decides to take its rights to market.
- October 30 - The Big 12 agrees to a new TV deal with ESPN and Fox, taking up the vast majority of uncontracted linear time slots. Sorry not sorry.
- December 2022 - GK says that the TV deal won't get done during the holidays because people are on vacation and the hire of Coach Prime will raise the value, but hope there's a deal by the CFP final
- February 2023 - Public statement released that the league "looks forward to consummating media rights deal(s) in the very near future". Rumors that they expect something by March Madness. GK seen at SMU and SDSU.
- March 2023 - GK no shows and makes no public comments at Pac-12 conference basketball tournament, Arizona president Bob Robbins says tax day feels like a good deadline.
- May 7 - WSU President Kirk Shulz says deal should come in 6 weeks and the hold up is optics of ESPN layoffs looking bad.
- May 16 - ESPN signs 5 year $85mm deal with Pat McAfee.
- June 16 - It's been 6 weeks and now Kirk Shulz says "end of the month"
- June 19 - SDSU sends MW letter stating they "intend to formally resign effect June 30, 2024" but would like extension for a month on the official notice date. MW says that IS their official notice date and is witholding distribution, presumably because Pac invite incoming
- June 30 - SDSU sends MW letter saying they are going to stay, showing a level of incompetence that demonstrates perfect institutional fit for the Pac. MW says "no, you already left, we will vote on this next month"
- July 5, 2023 - One year in and Ourand and Marchand report on their podcast that media sources are telling them the league may get a deal by Labor Day.
- July 2022 to Present - Utah fans become the laughing stock of CFB Twitter, revealing to the world what we have always known.
Note mentioned as negotiations with various partners circulated the interwebs: Apple, Amazon, CW, Ion, HGTV, PBS, Periscope, Western Union, Morse Code.
"We gotta see the deal"
Colorado and Arizona are the primary targets for commissioner Brett Yormark who last week told BYUSN that "12 teams is fine" but he "prefers 14". From #sources coming from Tucson and Boulder, the general consensus is that the schools need to see official hard number offer before making a decision and Colorado will likely lead with Arizona quickly following.
At some point, you gotta figure that the lack of an offer coalesces to zero and they jump. Or maybe they pull a rabbit out of a hat and somehow get a TV that satisifies their desire to have more than half their games on linear TV and be within spitting distance of Big 12 money (after GK said they should get $40+ early on).
They're in the same place as they started except ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC aren't interested in paying them for their games.