Pac-12 Commission: The League is “stuck” with media rights contracts until after the 2024 season | National sports

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff set foot on the University of Arizona campus for the first time Thursday morning to meet with several Wildcats coaches, including Jedd Fisch, Tommy Lloyd and Adia Barnes.

Arizona marked the 10th stop on the Commissioner’s “listening tour” since taking over from Larry Scott on July 1.

He listened to concerns expressed by UA head coaches over new name, image and likeness rights to the Pac-12’s role in college football playoffs, among other topics. Here are three main points to remember:

1. There are no “easy solutions” to the problems of Pac-12 networks.

Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke, left, introduces new Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff during Thursday’s press conference at the McKale Center. Kliavkoff is in town on a listening tour.

Since taking office as commissioner, there’s one topic Kliavkoff has been asked about seemingly every day: the accessibility, or lack of accessibility, of the Pac-12 networks.

“There are letters about it, emails about it and my Twitter feed is definitely full of them,” he said.

Kliavkoff sees a stark contrast between the production value of the Pac-12 and the distribution of content, saying he is “proud” of the network’s commitment to broadcast 850 live conference competitions per school year and studio broadcasts. which present highlights and analyzes.

The bigger and bigger issue is the distribution of live content to homes and streaming services, a bone of contention for several seasons now. The Pac-12 has its hands tied until 2024, when its current media rights deal expires.

“We are stuck with some contracts that make it very difficult to distribute more widely on larger distribution networks,” Kliavkoff said.

The commissioner does not expect things to change until 2024.

“I want to be transparent with our fans about this,” he said. “It is a difficult thing to solve and there is no easy answer out there.”

The good news is that once those rights expire in three years, the Pac-12 will have full autonomy over all of its content, giving the conference greater flexibility when the time for negotiations comes.

“We’ll be able to take all of that content and dramatically increase the distribution of all of that content. And I’m focused on that, ”Kliavkoff said.

2. The favors of the Pac-12

Extension of the CFP.On September 28, executives involved in the college football playoff committee will meet to discuss a 12-team playoff format that could go into effect as early as the 2023 season.

The 11 university presidents who oversee the college football playoffs discuss the proposal and next steps with each conference commissioner. During Kliavkoff’s visits to the Pac-12 campuses, he gathered information from each university’s head football coach and athletic director on their views on potential expansion.

“The conference is very supportive of expanding the college football playoffs,” he said.

However, the Pac-12 is unwilling to dive headfirst into the expansion without having fully endorsed the proposal.

“We think it’s important to (expand) into the right structure. We are working on the 12 team proposal, ”said Kliavkoff. “Lots of good stuff in there, a few concerns we’re working on.”

The commissioner has yet to visit ASU and Washington. He will finalize the conference position after that.

“We will have a position ready for the 28th,” he said.

3. The New Covenant is about three things.

Shortly after the 12 Great Powers of Texas and Oklahoma announced their passage to the SEC starting in the 2025 season, an alliance was forced. The handshake deal between Commissioners Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC – along with the 41 college presidents – shows that the three leagues are aligned in their core values.

“I don’t think this is a head-to-head against the SEC,” Kliavkoff said.

Kliavkoff described the three main components of the alliance on Thursday.

The first is to speed up the way each university supports its student-athletes. This includes development resources in athletics, academics, leadership and career counseling, and mental health.

The second is to find common ground to navigate current governance issues in college sports such as the name, image and likeness and expansion of the CFP.

The alliance does not guarantee that every conference will agree and vote in exactly the same way, Kliavkoff said. Rather, it is an agreement to involve the three conferences together when these discussions take place.

The last element, which has attracted the most attention so far, is scheduling. Kliavkoff and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren were both in attendance for the Oregon-Ohio State game last weekend.

Although the Oregon-Ohio State and Washington-Michigan clashes were frozen years ago, Kliavkoff sees it as the beginning of what the future landscape will look like.

“It starts in football. It extends to women’s and men’s basketball, ”he said. “Ultimately, this will extend to all of our sports. “

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