Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What has trickled about about the Pac-12 media rights

Press conference at 11am ET.  You can go to, or to watch the announcement.

The New York Times, Sports Business Journal, San Jose Mercury News, Variety and Yahoo have all reported various pieces/parts of the deals with FOX Sports Media Group and ESPN.  Try to make sense of what has come out

What we (mostly) know
* FSMG includes FOX broadcast network, F/X and FSN
* ESPN includes ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. for simulcasts.
* Football will air on all listed networks, though it is possible FSN will be dropped from the rotation.  That should be confirmed at this morning's announcement
* FOX and ABC will air some games in primetime on the east coast (8pm ET / 5pm PT).  Either five games total to be split among those two networks, or each will air five games.
* Basketball will be aired on the cable networks (FSN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU).  F/X may or may not be involved.
* For the football games airing on ESPN/ESPN2, four of those games can air on Thursdays and another four games can air on Fridays
* The two entities will split coverage of the major championships (football & men's basketball).  FOX will air the football championship in even numbered years and FSMG will own the men's basketball championship in odd numbered years (sounds like F/X could air it).  ABC airs the football championship in odd numbered years and ESPN airs the men's basketball championship in even numbered years
* ESPN gained rights to the women's basketball championship
* The conference held back some rights for their own use, be it for a TV network, digital & mobile offerings, etc.  The rights are being pooled instead of being held for the schools to monetize on their own (ie. the opposite of the Big 12)
* ESPN will get a package of Olympic sports content to air

What we don't know
* Number of games that each network will have for football & men's basketball
* Who has selection priority
* Could have exclusive games.
* Ability to sublicense to networks who are not rightsholders, such as Comcast or Turner Sports
* If there is network exclusivity (ie. FSMG can't televise at the same time as ESPN and vice-versa) and if the conference offerings have exclusivity
* If existing local rightsholder contracts, such as Comcast SportsNet Northwest with U. of Oregon and Root Sports Northwest with Washington St., have to honored or bought out.

Note that last year ABC/ESPN and FSMG altered their contracts to allow for pay-TV telecast windows to be non-exclusive, so that ESPN and FSN could air telecasts in concurrent windows (Versus was included in the FSN windows).  ABC's telecast window remained exclusive at 3:30pm, but all others became non-exclusive.

I'll attempt to listen/watch at 11am, provide any fact sheets made available and analyze after that.

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