Here’s Everything Pac-12 Commissioner Said About Media Deal

Jul 21, 2023, 2:39 PM

LAS VEGAS – Pac-12 Media Day is in full swing and commissioner George Kliavkoff had some things to say about the conference’s media deal as he took the podium.

For a little over a year, the Conference of Champions have been hammered with constant rumors surrounding their stability and future. While Kliavkoff and the conference were not ready to announce a deal at Media Day, they did take the stand to reiterate their commitment to each other and desire to stay together.

Through that reiteration of commitment between the 10 remaining member schools, Kliavkoff did note he and the CEO Group believe their patience at the negotiating table will ultimately pay off.


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What George Kliavkoff Shared About The Pac-12 Media Deal

It was reported earlier in the week that the Pac-12 would not be announcing a new media deal, though they believe they are close to wrapping one up. Kliavkoff did take some time to discuss where things are at and address some of the persistent rumors from the last year.

“I know there’s been never-ending speculation about the timing of our media deals,” Kliavkoff opened. “In the end we’re on track to announce our deals at about the same time as everyone would be anticipated and predicted before the news of conference realignment.”

“The Pac-12 board of directors has met regularly throughout the process and has been united in their commitment to one another and to the Pac-12,” Kliavkoff continued. “This commitment and patience will be rewarded with an announcement in the near future.”


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Kliavkoff emphasized later on that getting an advantageous deal for the conference has been more important than signing something quickly.

“Getting the right deal has always been more important to our board and to the conference than getting the
expeditious one.”

When it comes to the topic of expansion, Kliavkoff revealed the conference has done their research and has narrowed candidates down, but the media rights deal needs to be done first before they will make any moves.

“Regarding potential expansion, while we have already done the due diligence on expansion candidates many
months ago, and significantly narrowed our focus to a number of schools, our sequence remains unchanged,” Kliavkoff said. “First, we will conclude our media rights deals, then our schools will sign our Grant of Rights, which has already been negotiated, and only then will we decide on potential expansion.”

Kliavkoff Quick Hit Answers On Media Rights, Expansion

Kliavkoff then opened things up for questions from the media and gave some quick hit answers on where the Pac-12 stands with media rights and expansion.

On The Mixed Messaging On When The Media Deal Would Be Done:

“In board meetings in the last year, we constantly update our board. I think they’re enthusiastic, like I am, about the media deal. I will tell you what we’ve seen is the longer we wait for the media deal, the better our options get. I think our board realizes that. There’s an underlying shift in the media market that’s happening. We’re long-term taking advantage of that. Short-term it may have provided some hiccups.”

Kliavkoff Addresses The Constant Big 12 Rumors:

“It’s not a concern. Our schools are committed to each other and to the Pac-12. We’ll get our media rights deal done, we’ll announce the deal. I think the realignment that’s going on in college athletics will come to an end for this cycle. The truth is we have bigger fish to fry. There are incredible opportunities and also challenges in front of college athletics. I need to be able to work with all of my colleagues in Division I and particularly in the A-5. We’ll do that and move past kind of all the bitter squabbling of the last year and work together to make college athletics


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Kliavkoff Talks About San Diego State From The Pac-12’s Perspective:

“I’m not going to disclose my conversations with any potential expansion candidates. I will tell you, generally speaking, we’ve never given anyone an indication that anything would be different than the sequence I just mentioned, which is get our media rights deal done, Grant of Rights signed, then we’ll consider expansion.”

On The Narrative The Pac-12 Is About To Collapse:

“I said in the board meetings, I see the commitment all of our schools have to each other, I also kind of know where the sources of that is coming from. I discount that because I know the truth.”

On Whether Being Part Of The AAU Is Required Of New Members:

“We talked last year about all the criteria we put in when we consider expansion candidates. We rate them all against all of those criteria: academic progress, research to standing. AAU is a part of that in one component, but not the only component.”

Kliavkoff Discusses Why He Stayed Silent On Rumors:

“I could have spent all of last year getting into a he said/he said on every single rumor that’s been passed about our conference. We decide to take the high road. We decide to focus on the future of the conference. That’s why we haven’t engaged. What I will tell you is, when you think about the effect that might have on our schools of not being in the public every day talking and defending ourselves, for me, the concern, the real concern, was is it going to affect our recruiting, right? Are we going to lose potential student-athletes because of that, because of some uncertainty. I will tell you that our recruiting has never been stronger. That kind of reinforced the decision to not engage with that and stay with the high road.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Here’s Everything Pac-12 Commissioner Said About Media Deal