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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Pac-12 board meeting preview: Agenda items include football strategy, media rights, NCAA issues and data sales

Important issues will be discussed when the Pac-12 president and chancellor gather in San Francisco on Monday for the annual May board meeting, which includes the athletic directors for a portion of the season.

There is no guarantee of conclusions drawn, votes cast and official announcements. There are several challenges facing the convention; some are out of its control; Only a few could reach the resolution.

Key agenda items are expected to include (but will not be limited to):

– media rights

Commissioner George Klewkopf will update the board on the media rights landscape, but the situation remains highly fluid.

The Pac-12 will not begin formal talks with ESPN, Fox, and possibly other networks until later this year for a contract cycle beginning in the summer of 2024.

But nothing in the contracts prevents Kliavkoff from strategizing, surveying the market and having informal discussions with various network executives.

He has a look at the media talks of Big Ten, which are going on now. The outcome may affect which media entities are most interested in partnering with the Pac-12.

– football strategy

With the College Football Playoff (CFP) unlikely to expand before the 2026 season, the Pac-12 will have to determine which model maximizes its chances of participating in a four-team event.

Should it play eight conference games or nine?

Should it keep or eliminate partitions?

Without divisions, how would the schedule rotation work?

Finally, how will Pac-12 Football Championship Game (FCG) participants be determined by conference record or CFP rankings?

The chances of going to eight conference games are extremely slim. Unless the Big Ten does so — and there’s no sign that the move is coming — Pac-12 teams will lack quality opponents to make up for the additional non-conference slots.

But there is support for eliminating divisions, changing the schedule rotation and exploring alternatives to FCG matchups.

Our suspicion is that the conference will delay any final decision, as the NCAA’s Division I council will have to issue a procedural decision before closing the split format.

A decision is expected next week.

data sales

A relatively new subject but one that has immense revenue potential.

In March, the conference announced a partnership with Tempus Ex Machina designed to improve the aggregation of statistical data for campuses.

The deal was seen as the first step along a rough path toward the eventual sale of the Pac-12 data to gaming or technology companies.

Presidents and vice chancellors should approve the move. Some will undoubtedly have ethical and moral questions, but the market for real-time data used in betting is hot. It’s one of the few untapped revenue streams available, and the Pac-12 is desperate for revenue.

– NCAA Issues

The Pac-12 board will discuss the latest steps to ease controls on the name, image and likeness (NIL) market, including Kliavkoff’s meeting with US senators about the possibility of Congressional oversight.

World Nation News Desk
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