NCAA Pac-12 conference leaders saw an offer Tuesday from Apple TV+ for a streaming deal to replace the conference’s expiring TV contact for football games, a report noted.
After Apple’s deals to air Major League Soccer (MLS) and Major League Baseball (MLB) games, its potential entry into college football is intriguing — but it’s not a done deal yet.
Uncertainty hangs over potential Pac-12 football streaming deal for Apple TV+
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff went over a subscription-based Apple TV+ streaming deal with conference presidents and chancellors, ESPN reported, citing several sources.
“Monetary and exposure questions still loom, though, and outside pressure from the Big 12 remains,” the report noted, referring to the rival conference’s effort to poach the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and the University of Utah from the Pac-12.
Initial deal could grow more competitive
But should a deal emerge, it could grow more competitive over time, the report noted:
According to sources, the first year of what’s expected to be a relatively short-term contract with Apple would start in 2024-25 and begin relatively low relative to the league’s hopes. But the deal, sources said, would incrementally improve and potentially be competitive with its peers in the Big 12 and ACC down the road, provided certain subscription numbers are met.
The Big 12 has a TV deal staring in 2025 that could bring $31.7 million to each school. And it’s against those kinds of numbers any Pac-12 deal with be judged, according to the report.
“There’s an underlying shift in the media market that’s happening, and we’re long term taking advantage of that,” Kliavkoff said recently.
Apple did not respond to ESPN’s request for a comment.
Apple TV+ sports deals
The report also made note of Apple’s coup related to Lionel Messi’s arrival at MLS’ Inter Miami and his games being aired on MLS Season Pass. That and the way Apple struck its Friday Night Baseball deal with MLB suggest it probably won’t produce the Pac-12 games, leaving the conference with those costs. And that could affect any potential deal.
On top of that, the Big 12’s desire to grow and its 6-year, $2.2 billion TV deal with ESPN and Fox though 2031 add to the Pac-12’s uncertain status, according to the report.