Although ESPN's new deal with the Pac-12 will draw the lion's share of attention, the restructuring of Fox's deal with the conference is also quite extraordinary. You wouldn't think it'd be much different, right?
Oh, it's different. Much, much different. More details available here. (HT mattsarz)
- Eight national telecasts on FOX, four on primetime. It remains to be seen where they're located, but these will probably become the showcase games for Pac-12 football, much like the CBS games are for the SEC.
- No more Pac-12 football games on Fox Sports Net. There have been longstanding gripes with the way FSN covers the conference nationally, and it seems Commissioner Scott recognized the utility of those criticisms. One more year of dealing with 30 percent of conference games mired to regional telecasts, and we can move on.
- Instead, the bulk of Pac-12 football games on the Fox contract will now end up on FX (14 games in all), likely in afternoon slots, replacing the archaic ABC regional broadcasts. This is a big win for everyone. FX gets a huge sports franchise, meaning they can upgrade their subscriber fees. The Pac-12 gets a well-recognized cable network to pick up their main sport. And Pac-12 games can be viewed on cable for a national audience.
- ESPN has rights to the odd years of the conference title game, thus FOX gets the even years (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022). FOX already has rights to the original Pac-12 championship game in 2011. All these games will be on Friday night on national television.
Pac-12 football fans, what are your thoughts on the FOX/FX part of the deal? Let us know in the comments!