In fact, the bidding war over the Pac-10’s TV rights already is developing, leading some industry executives to predict that the conference’s windfall could hit ACC-type numbers. In May, ESPN agreed to pay $1.86 billion over 12 years for the ACC’s rights. That deal hasn’t been finalized.
The Pac-10’s current deals with ESPN and Fox Sports Net end in 2012, and sources say that the two networks already are informally making their interest known via several events that have been set up with Pac-10 coaches in New York, Los Angeles and Bristol, Conn.
“They won’t be negotiating,” said one media executive who plans to attend one of the events. “But it’s definitely part of the courtship process.”