Apple is reportedly negotiating with the Pac-12 to secure the rights to college football games played in the conference. An ESPN report claims Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff on Tuesday presented the conference with a potential subscription-based Apple streaming deal.
The current Pac-12 television contract expires after this school year, meaning the conference is looking to make a new deal. So far, Apple is said to be the “likely leader,” but no final deal has been reached.
Any deal between the Pac-12 and Apple would begin in the 2024-2025 season and would be short-term at first. The terms would be similar to Apple’s partnership with MLS. Apple’s deal with the soccer league offers a standalone subscription with Apple having exclusive streaming rights.
According to sources, the first year of what’s expected to be a relatively short-term contract with Apple would start in 2024-25 and begin relatively low to the league’s hopes. But the deal, sources said, would incrementally improve and potentially be competitive with its peers in the Big 12 and ACC down the road, provided certain subscription numbers are met.
The Pac-12 includes the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, UC Berkeley, University of Oregon, Stanford University, Oregon State University, University of Utah, University of Washington, and Washington State University. However, the conference is looking to add additional member colleges, following the defection of Colorado to the Big 12.
The Pac-12 said Thursday night that it plans to “embrace expansion opportunities” once it finalizes its new media rights deal.
The report says Pac-12 members do have concerns about a possible drop in viewer numbers should the conference abandon the traditional broadcast model in favor of streaming.
Any Pac-12 streaming deal would need to match the money and exposure that similar conferences receive from broadcast networks. The Big 12 Conference’s deals with ESPN and Fox are set to earn each team an average of $31.7 million annually, so Apple would need to either match that or come close to that to facilitate a deal.
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