To quote Mark Twain “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Over the past month or so writers and pundits – myself included – have taken to ponder the future of the Pac-12. So, as your faithful seeker of the truth or at least how it is being seen I spoke to a couple of my most trusted sources to see if anything what had changed as Pac 12 attempts to strike a new media deal that will keep everyone where they are for the next five or six years.
DISCLAIMER – THE PEOPLE INTERVIEWED IN THIS STORY WISH TO SEE THE PAC 12 SURVIVE. HOWEVER, THERE VIEWS ARE IMPORTANT AND I TRUST TO TRUST THEM BE HONEST.
Contact number one is an executive with Apple who clearly spoke with as an unnamed source. This person has intimate knowledge of the present talks as they are as of today.
JW: Where are you in the talks for the new media rights deal?
A: Apple TV+ remains comfortable that we remain the strongest option for all of the Pac-12 rights. We have spent a great deal of time working speaking not only to the conference but to possible partners as well.
JW: So you are willing to work with whatever partners that the conference feel it will take to get a deal done?
A.We have made it clear that we understand that linear is a very important part of any deal that is done. We have spoken to I think nine potential partners and we continue to talk with some of them as we all try to get a deal crafted and I feel that we are close to making it happen.
JW: Is it possible that you won’t be a partner?
A.Sure this is a business and despite how we feel that we have done in the interest of showing our ability to be a good partners in the end it is up to the conference. That said I remain confident we will be there in the end.
Next up a view from a conference rep:
JW: How confident are you that you can come to a deal that the members will accept?
A.We stress academics here in the Pac 12 so we can count to 10 and that is the number of partners we want to say yes to a new deal. We only need eight but we will have them all with the deal we present to membership.
JW: Do you feel any cracking or perhaps concern in the membership over the time it has taken to get a deal done?
A.Despite what you may have read online or heard on radio, podcast TV, etc we have encountered no concerns over either ability to get a deal that all of the members will sign off on or that they want to leave. Once we get the vote then comes the Grant of Rights, then we look to the future.
JW: Can you understand the concern of fans and boosters that things are taking so long?
A.I read and hear about the so called four corner schools leaving for the Big 12 soon or that Washington and Oregon are Big Ten bound. We talk to every member on a weekly basis to keep them posted and n a single one of them has said if we don’t get this then we are gone.
So you are confident that you can get a deal that will keep the conference together?
A.Look we know what everyone wants in a deal and we know that it is attainable. I really feel we are inching closer to deal that not only will make our members happy but will silence our critics. We have gotten very creative in putting together the framework of a deal now we are working to fill all the blanks to make sure this deal is air tight. No one wants to leave the conference and they have told us that in a number of meetings. We now must take that trust and deliver a deal worthy of that trust.
So that is a snapshot on this Monday could it change? Yes, but at least you have an update from the Pac 12 side of the story. I have promised you all sides and to present them fairly.