PAC-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff is still having a tough time dealing with the USC Trojans' announcement that they will officially be leaving the PAC for the Big Ten in 2024. At Pac-12 Basketball Media Day, Kliavkoff claimed that the PAC-12 will have a media rights deal soon that "will close the gap between (the PAC-12) and the Big Ten and SEC."
Kliavkoff appears to have lost his mind. Did he not remember the media rights deal that the Big Ten just put together? In August the Big Ten finalized a media rights deal that is for seven years and for seven billion dollars. The agreement is with CBS, NBC, and FOX. (Of course, many games will still be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network too.) The deal starts in 2023.
How on Earth is the PAC-12 going to compete with that, especially when they just lost their two biggest brands and revenue drivers in the conference in USC and UCLA? What program does the PAC-12 have that is going to lead them to "close the gap" between the PAC and the Big Ten and SEC?
The next best market that the PAC has proximity to is the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market, which is a top six market in the nation, but how much of that market really is concentrated with potential Stanford and Cal money?
There's nowhere close to enough interest in those two programs, or success on the field from those two programs, that can drive big money for the conference through that market. So, Kliavkoff will need to make major moves in terms of expansion. He of course did bring up that he's "looking at expansion."
Who can George Kliavkoff gain for the PAC-12 that can make up for the loss of the USC Trojans, though?
There has been absolutely no rumblings of George Kliavkoff and the PAC-12 being able to expand with programs that have the brand/revenue generation to make up for the loss of the USC Trojans. In fact, there has even been rumblings of the Big Ten looking to take more programs away from the PAC.
The only rumors that appeared to be credible when it comes to the PAC-12 expanding, are the rumors that they were looking to partner with the Big 12. That's nice, but what would that do? Who in the Big 12 could make up for the loss of a blue blood and top TV revenue generator like USC? Maybe Texas or Oklahoma? Well even if they were, that's too bad, as they are off to the SEC.
Believe it or not, bringing in TCU and Oklahoma State isn't going to replace the money that the PAC is losing in their one blue blood based in LOS ANGELES leaving, and leaving along with their market value. Remember, ALL of Los Angeles is gone now, too. UCLA is leaving the PAC-12 for the Big Ten too.
And there certainly are no nearby programs that could help the PAC-12. Adding San Diego State and San Jose State isn't going to move any sort of needle after losing the only program that was actually gaining the conference legit money.
The PAC-12 is in shambles right now, and Kliavkoff has no idea what to do about it. Respect to him for staying confident, but he also likely won't get anywhere without also being realistic about where he's currently at.