LOS ANGELES – Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said he’s “laser-focused” on negotiating a new television deal that will result in greater national exposure for the conference.
The soon-to-be Pac-12, which adds Colorado and Utah this summer, is in talks with current rights holders ABC/ESPN and Fox, whose agreements run through the 2011-12 season. Scott said Thursday that he expects the process to take another few months.
“That topic is something I’ve been laser-focused on because we’re determined to get a lot more national exposure for basketball and football than what we’ve been getting,” he said.
“There’s a sense the Pac-10 has fallen behind. We’re fifth among the BCS conferences right now in TV revenue and that’s not satisfactory to our leadership. We’ve fallen behind in terms of national exposure as well as revenues.”
The conference has already reached a deal with Fox to air its inaugural football title game, but the contract only covers one year because of the expiring deals with ABC/ESPN and Fox.
Scott said he remains committed to launching the Pac-12’s own television network.
The conference has been working with Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency to develop the network, which is expected to resemble the Big Ten’s network. The Big Ten airs lower-tier home football games, men’s and women’s basketball and Olympic sports while reserving marquee games for its broadcast partners.
The men’s conference basketball tournament will return to Staples Center next year, although the format for 12 teams hasn’t been finalized. It likely will mean adding two more games to the play-in round on Wednesday.