Big 12, Pac-12 partnership off the table, per report
The decision of USC and UCLA to depart the Pac-12 for the B1G has set off another potential firestorm of conference realignment. On Monday, another report has potential ramifications for the shifting landscape.
After the Trojans and Bruins revealed their plans, it was reported that other Pac-12 programs were potentially looking at a move in the fallout. Oregon and Washington were among the teams reportedly looking at their options, and the Big 12 was also expected to meet with a handful of Pac-12 programs.
Since then, the Big 12 and Pac-12 had been discussing the possibility of working together in a partnership – or merger – relationship. But on Monday, Pete Thamel with ESPN reported that partnership is off the table.
Sources: Big 12, Pac-12 won’t partner as talks among the two conferences officially end. The two sides had at least three lengthy Zoom calls to explore options within the last two weeks. No strong revenue driver emerged. More details here: https://t.co/FtA67ukBXV
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 19, 2022
According to Thamel, it was officials from the Big 12 who informed the Pac-12 that there was no longer interest in the partnership. The report detailed that a full merger between the two conferences was the only option attractive to the Big 12, but that the Pac-12 was wary of a full merger because the media rights deals for the conferences expire at different times.
“Because the Big 12 media rights can’t be negotiated until 2024, Pac-12 schools have no motivation to join the Big 12,” a Pac-12 source said. “The Pac-12 has announced that they’re staying together and are in the middle of media rights negotiations.”