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Monday, May 20, 2024

Pac-12 Finally Inks Football Media Deal With Just Two Members

  • Eleven OSU and WSU home football games will be broadcast on The CW, while two will air on a Fox Sports network.
  • The one-year media contract is part of the pair's plan to fight for survival.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12’s new commissioner, Teresa Gould, has accomplished a feat that eluded her predecessor, George Kliavkoff: She has agreed to a new conference media deal. 

On Tuesday, the Pac-12 announced a one-year deal in which 13 Oregon State and Washington State home games would be broadcast on The CW and Fox Sports. The league also announced a schedule for The CW games, with the Fox Sports kickoff times being announced later this month. The latter network will own two matchups airing either on FS1 or Fox Sports proper: Oregon vs. Oregon State and Texas Tech vs. Washington State.

Oregon State and Washington State, the remainder of the Pac-12 after the conference collapsed last year, have a scheduling agreement with the Mountain West where each team will play six games against conference teams. The rest of their schedules are filled out with traditional Pac-12 rivalries or what would have previously been a nonconference game. The two schools still have the right to call themselves the Pac-12 as they continue to consider options for their future.

The fate of Pac-12 Networks is unclear, but “Pac-12 Enterprises,” the league’s production facility, will produce all home games for The CW, the league said. 

“National exposure and the ability for Beaver Nation to easily access our games was a top priority during the process,” OSU athletic director Scott Barnes said. “Additionally, the ability to announce game times well in advance provides an improved experience for our student-athletes and fans.” 

The Pac-12 did not respond to a request for comment regarding financial terms of the deal. 

The announcement is just one part of a multipronged process to keep the two-member conference afloat after almost all of its members defected last summer when they weren’t offered a lucrative enough TV deal. The NCAA stripped the conference of its autonomy voting status earlier this year, and both athletes and coaches have fled to greener pastures in a mass exodus of transfers and new jobs. 

Still, OSU and WSU have worked to rebuild. They promoted Gould, previously a deputy commissioner, to the helm of the conference. They took departing schools to court and won a lucrative settlement giving them control over Pac-12 assets and intellectual property, as well as $65 million in hearty exit fees for each member of the Pac-2. They signed a scheduling partnership deal with the Mountain West for football, and another with the West Coast Conference for basketball and the majority of Olympic sports. They even were able to negotiate a guarantee in the College Football Playoff that, while not eligible to receive a conference automatic qualifier, the two schools could earn at-large bids. 

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