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Pac-12 commish George Kliavkoff says 'no one's going anywhere'

After nearly two months of radio silence, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff went on Jon Wilner and John Canzano’s newest podcast episode, published Tuesday. Amid rampant speculation Oregon and Washington could flee for the Big Ten or the league’s southeast contingent could be poached by the Big 12, Kliavkoff expressed an almost-sanguine belief the remaining schools in the Pac-12 will stick together.

“Listen, I think if schools would have left for the Big Ten they would have left already,” Kliavkoff told Wilner and Canzano.

Asked whether he guarantees no one will jump to the Big 12 — something he said back in July at Pac-12 Media Day — Kliavkoff said, “Yes, that’s still the case.”

The league is still working to capture its next media rights deal. Kliavkoff told Wilner and Canzano they plan to figure out the TV rights first and then shift the attention to conference expansion.

“I think the 10 schools will sign a Grant of Rights agreement if we put the right agreement in front of them, which is why we’re spending so much time focused on getting an agreement that will allow all of our schools not just to compete but to thrive,” Kliavkoff said.

According to Canzano, there’s a sense the Pac-12 Network’s programming will end up with a streaming service like those provided by Apple or Amazon, at least in part, but Kliavkoff hinted at a reluctance to go all-in with a digital partner.

“Certainly revenue is at the top of the priority list but we have to also balance that against distribution,” Kliavkoff said. “We really want our content to be available to any of our fans who want to see it. I’ve set a goal that our content should be available to any piece of glass connected to the internet as part of our next media rights negotiation.”

He was also asked about the recent UC regents drama. In a meeting last month, regents suggested they retain the authority to overturn UCLA’s decision to join the Big Ten. During that meeting, regents discussed concern over the increased travel for Bruins athletes as well as the potential financial harm to Cal.

Kliavkoff said TV negotiations to this point have included scenarios both with and without UCLA in the picture.

“We’ve done back-of-the-envelope calculations on the negative impact of UCLA expenses — travel expenses and coaching salaries and other things — just to get to the average Big Ten athletic budget,” Kliavkoff said. “We think that the incremental money they’re (UCLA) going to receive from the Big Ten media rights deal will be more than 100% offset by additional expenses. So you end up taking that money that you earn, and it goes to airline and charter companies and coaches and administrators. It doesn’t go to supporting the student-athletes.”

You can listen to the full podcast below:

Derek Peterson
Derek Peterson comes to the Pac-12 after years of serving as a college football beat writer at Oklahoma and Nebraska. He's a firm believer that teams should never punt. Email Derek at

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