Report: Oregon, Washington could see unequal revenue splits if they remain with the Pac-12
The Pac-12 needs to keep its biggest and most valuable remaining brands in the league if it is going to remain relevant in the changing college football landscape.
That means convincing Oregon and Washington their best path forward is the Pac-12. According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, one way commissioner George Kliavkoff could accomplish that goal would be giving the Ducks and Huskies a larger cut of the league’s media rights revenue than other teams in the league.
“I think we will see more unequal revenue sharing soon, I think that’s going to inevitably happen in the ACC.” Thamel said Tuesday morning during an appearance on SEC This Morning. “If Oregon and Washington are staying in the Pac-12, there’s going to be some unequal (revenue sharing) and I do think it eventually comes to the SEC and it eventually comes to the Big Ten because you can’t win the national titles like it’s Clemson (sharing) football money with Duke football. They’re not carrying the weight.”
“North Carolina basketball gets all the units from making the national title game. Should they be sharing those with Pitt basketball, which stinks right now? There is a sense of, ‘What is fairness?’ Because I think the money was so big for so long that everybody linked arms and said, ‘We’re good.’ But eventually, that’s going to change.”
With USC and UCLA preparing to exit the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten in 2024, the Pac-12 will lose the incredibly valuable Los Angeles DMA. When that happens, the Seattle TV market Washington brings to the table becomes even more important to the Pac-12. Without the Trojans, the Pac-12 will be losing its only college football blue blood. Oregon becomes the conference’s largest remaining football brand.
Recent reporting has suggested both would have liked to follow the L.A. schools to the Big Ten. Reports have also suggested Phil Knight would like to see Oregon in the SEC if the Big Ten doesn’t come calling.
The Big Ten is reportedly willing to sit and wait on Notre Dame. A rumored Pac-12 partnership/merger with the Big 12 fell apart Monday. A partnership with the ACC is reportedly unlikely. The Pac-12 is short on options as Kliavkoff negotiates the league’s next media rights deal and explores expansion candidates.
Keeping Oregon and UW in the fold has to be an “at all costs” endeavor for the Pac-12. Making revenue splits unequal would certainly be an “at all costs” kind of solution. Kliavkoff would need to sell the rest of the schools in the league on the concept they’d still stand to make more as unequal partners in the Pac-12 than they would in a league like the Big 12 or Mountain West.