Despite the chaos surrounding the future of the Pac-12, the conference managed to get lots of eyeballs on its title game.
Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game, a 47-24 victory for Utah over USC, attracted over 6.2 million viewers on Fox — the largest television audience since the game’s inception in 2011.
The contest also had 61,195 fans in attendance at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas — the game’s first-ever sellout, though not the record for highest attendance: The 2013 matchup between Stanford and Arizona State at Sun Devil Stadium attracted 69,535 fans.
Much of the intrigue for the 2022 edition likely stemmed from the high-profile Trojans and their quest to get into the College Football Playoff — a prospect that ended with the Utes’ dominant win.
USC’s undeniable brand clearly gets people to watch — something the Big Ten will likely benefit from when the Trojans move to the Big Ten in 2024.
In July, sources told Front Office Sports that Big Ten media rights deals could see a 25% increase in value with USC and UCLA in the fold.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s strong ratings could go a long way toward helping the Pac-12 negotiate its next media rights deal — even sans the Southern California schools.