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Pac-12 Pursuing Amazon for Next Media Deal

  • The Pac-12 is interested in selling media rights to Amazon, sources tell FOS.
  • The conference is likely looking for a lucrative deal to attract new members.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Power 5 conferences and pro leagues are usually chased by TV networks and streamers — not the other way around. 

But with its back against the wall after losing USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, the Pac-12 is hotly pursuing Amazon as a potential media rights partner, sources tell Front Office Sports. The Mercury News first reported a possible union between Pac-12 and Amazon.

“They know they’re in big trouble. The Pac-12 is actively out there trying to see what they can do to survive,” said one source. “They want Amazon. But does Amazon want them?”

Both Amazon and the conference declined to comment when reached by FOS, but at Pac-12 media days this summer, commissioner George Kliavkoff told reporters the conference could likely end up with a digital partner.

  • Amazon is proving to sports leagues it can deliver, thanks to the success of its inaugural broadcast of the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” which drew more subscriptions than any other three-hour period in Amazon’s history.
  • The country’s largest online retailer could also generate more revenue for the Pac-12 with sales of jerseys, memorabilia, and other school merchandise.

The Pac-12 is also interested in having Apple stream its games. 

Stirring the Pot

The Pac-12 could also be using the streaming giants as a stalking horse to try to squeeze more money out of current rights partner ESPN. The two sides are “hundreds of millions apart” in negotiations for a new broadcast deal, according to the New York Post.

ESPN declined to comment on the negotiations.

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