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ESPN Is ‘Most Viable Lifeline’ For Pac-12

“Currently, ESPN and FOX hold the Pac-12’s media rights.”

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If the Pac-12 Conference is going to survive, it may be up to ESPN. Reporter John Canzano writes that the conference is waiting for Bristol to make its move in negotiating a new TV deal. He also says plenty of what he has heard from inside the conference makes it clear that ESPN as “the most likely bidder” for the conference’s next media rights package.

The negotiating power for the conference took a hit last month when UCLA and USC announced they were leaving for the Big Ten. It is a move that one executive told Canzano will likely cost the conference $200 million from interested TV partners.

Speculation about the future of college sports’ five “power conferences” lead the Pac-12 to begin its search for a new media deal last week. The hope, likely, is that a new media deal makes the six members rumored to be eyeing a move to the Big 12 more likely to stay put.

A thirty day window is currently in place for the conference to make a decision. If things move faster “depends on our friends in Bristol” a source told Canzano.

Currently, ESPN and FOX hold the Pac-12’s media rights. If either network were to come to a handshake agreement with the conference, the other network would have to waive its rights or submit a bid of its own before anything could be finalized.

Right now, the ten remaining Pac-12 schools are “galvanized” according to Canzano. That is why ESPN may be “the conference’s most intriguing and viable lifeline”.

He notes that the rumored content partnership with the ACC Network could be the key to a bigger programming effort for ESPN, which could see special football and basketball events created to generate revenue and drive up the value of relationships with both conferences.

Canzano points out that the conference is so invested in what ESPN can do for the conference, that a lowball offer from Bristol could destabilize everything.

“The network is essentially playing kingmaker in this 30-day negotiating window. It’s bidding against itself in this round of negotiations because Fox isn’t a likely bidder,” he writes. “Under a lowball scenario, I believe a few Pac-12 universities — particularly Arizona State — might become frustrated and consider alternate options.”

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ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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