Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff no longer plans any teams exiting for the Big Ten or Big 12, as his league continues to negotiate its next media rights deal.
Speaking on “Canzano & Wilner: The Podcast,” Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 remains unified despite rumors of further Big Ten expansion and the Big 12 aggressively pursuing Pac-12 members.
USC and UCLA announced in June that they were leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024, suggesting that other schools, namely Washington and Oregon, could soon follow.
“Look, I think if the schools had gone to the Big Ten, they would have already gone to the Big Ten,” Kliavkoff told reporters John Canzano and Jon Wilner. “Plus, I’m very focused on things that are within my control.”
Kliavkoff also doubled down on his July guarantee that no Pac-12 schools would leave for the Big 12, which would have targeted Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah. Several administrators of these schools reiterated their commitment to the Pac-12.
“I talk to our presidents, chancellors and sporting directors all the time; we have conversations about it,” Kliavkoff said. “Everyone is committed to working together to get a big rights concession, following a good media rights deal, and I’m taking people at their word.”
The Pac-12 opened its media rights negotiations earlier than expected due to departures from USC and UCLA. Kliavkoff said the process was complex but a deal would be reached “in the near future”, also saying he was confident the remaining 10 members would sign a rights-granting deal “if we presented them with the right deal. “.
The league’s current media agreement expires in 2024.
“The media rights deal…has always been a balancing act,” Kliavkoff said. “Certainly revenue is at the top of the priority list, but we also have to balance that with distribution. We really want our content to be available for all of our fans who want to see it. I have set a goal that our content should be available on any piece of glass connected to the Internet.”
Kliavkoff added that any potential Pac-12 expansion would occur after the media rights deal is finalized. He also weighed in on UCLA’s challenges to quitting the Pac-12, as University of California regents continue to discuss the impact on Bruins athletes and on California, the other Pac school. -12 from the system.
Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 welcomed UCLA’s review of the decision and did not rule out the school remaining in the league.
At a meeting last month, the UC Regents’ general counsel said the Regents have the right to overturn UCLA’s decision to leave the Pac-12. Kliavkoff said the impact of increased travel to league games is creating issues for athletes, families and others.
“We did some bottom-of-the-envelope calculations on the negative impact of UCLA’s expenses — travel costs and salaries for coaches and such — just to arrive at the average Big Ten athletic budget,” Kliavkoff said. “We think the extra money they’re going to get from the Big Ten media rights deal will be more than 100% offset by extra expenses. So you end up taking that money that you make, and it goes to airlines and charter companies, and coaches and administrators. It’s not about supporting student-athletes.