Conference reorganization: Amazon’s interests may influence formation of the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 as talks continue

CBS Sports has learned that Amazon has emerged as an important party in college football media rights talks, and so may become a player in conference realignment. The tech giant has been linked with all three conferences that will reach decisions on conference composition in the coming months due to its interest in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12, according to industry sources.

The issue is the quality of the content available. While Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren remains interested in adding Pac-12 teams, his best games have already been distributed elsewhere after the league signed a new media rights agreement with CBS, Fox and NBC last month.

Amazon finds itself in a position where it is more likely to weigh whether to buy top-tier games from the Big 12 and/or Pac-12 compared to the lesser-known options from the Big Ten. The Big 12 and Pac-12 are already vying for new media rights deals with Fox and ESPN believed to be the primary bidders.

How many games does Amazon want and at what cost? There is still skepticism within the industry about the viability of major live sporting events that are only available through live streaming services.

“Broadcasting will continue to grow,” an industry source told CBS Sports, but there’s a reason the NFL is still [largely] on network television.

Another industry source predicted that, in further expansion, there would be no Big Ten games available for Amazon that include the most attractive teams (I think). MichiganAnd the Ohio StateAnd the Pennsylvania state). This fact has to be looked at against top 12 games such as Oklahoma State-Cincinnati and Houston-Texas Tech. Are these games more desirable than the ultimate Big Ten content?

In a landmark deal struck last month, the Big Ten’s entire lineup of soccer games – about 112 a year – is now being talked about across CBS, Fox and NBC starting in 2023. Games will also air on FS1, Big Ten Network and Peacock with Simultaneous broadcast of CBS games on Paramount+.

However, Amazon’s involvement in college football could change the paradigm. The platform will definitely use the NFL “Friday Night Football” package to promote Saturday’s college games and vice versa. It was known that Warren was previously interested in acquiring a major broadcasting operator in his current Big Ten deal.

If Amazon wanted to join the Big Ten party, doing so would require expanding the conference beyond the upcoming additions USC And the University of California. CaliforniaAnd the OregonAnd the stanford And the Washington It will create more inventory, but at what cost? The Big Ten’s decision makers – and new rights holders – have shown little interest in expanding the league beyond 16 teams because any additional programs won’t be as valuable.

proverbs IndianaAnd the MarylandAnd the MinnesotaAnd the Bordeaux And the Rutgers It is unlikely to support expansion. It’s some of their games that will largely be put on Amazon if the conference continues to grow.

This does not mean that the Big Ten expansion is a dead topic. Oregon and Washington have reportedly met with Big Ten officials, according to Playground. Warren only has to convince his superiors who are in charge of their money. He can sell them in the Big Ten of 20 teams that will be ranked as the biggest and best academic And the ever sports conference.

Would Amazon be interested in being a part of who – which?

One of the tech giants who made it into the college media rights field has long been the subject of speculation. In other words, when does it make financial sense for FBS Conferences and for a major broadcast company to partner? Apparently not yet. Amazon is reportedly making a bigger bid to buy the Big Ten at 3:30 p.m. and prime-time windows than other Big Ten suitors, according to The Athletic. If the Big Ten already rejects such an offer, the concerns are likely to be distribution and visibility.

The consensus among industry experts is that broadcasting remains “in the future” as a college rights platform. That’s why the Big Ten has gone big with broadcast partners CBS, Fox, and NBC.

But this future is coming. Amazon’s 11-year deal with the NFL for “Thursday Night Football” is said to be $1 billion per season. Apple recently signed a 10-year deal with MLS for all of its inventory worth $250 million annually.

Nearly 85% of American households have at least one streaming service. However, 85% is not 100%.

The question remains: Is there enough desirable content in the Big Ten / Big 12 / Pac-12 for Amazon to get involved? An insider suggested that the Big Ten is attractive, but it is who – which attractive?

“Otherwise, what’s the point?” An industry source said. “That’s why they bid on the NFL. They’ve got top-level games.”

California retracts the step of the top ten at the University of California

UCLA’s plan to align itself with the Big Ten will be reviewed by the UCLA Board of Regents Wednesday meeting. Some governors — and Governor Gavin Newsom — remain troubled by the secretive nature of the UCLA move. They discovered it around the same time that the public discovered it on June 30th.

Sources tell CBS Sports that there is a 1% chance that UCLA will be forced by the referees to remain in Pac-12. Most likely: UC will share revenue from the Big Ten deal with Cal to satisfy the judges.

Big Ten teams are estimated to receive $75 million annually starting in 2023. The question remains: If Cal wants to go to the Big Ten with three other Pac-12 schools, is it worth it to receive the discounted payout less than the $75 million being received? By UCLA but above a number that Pac-12 could achieve in its new media rights agreement?

Big Penalty Shootout 12 to Pac 12

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has stated publicly for the first time that his convention is looking toward the West Coast. “Obviously getting out of the West is where I want to go,” Yormark told The Athletic. “Entering that fourth time zone. A program that has national renown. A program that competes at the highest level in basketball and football, that represents the right things, and is a good cultural fit.”

That wasn’t a huge surprise. CBS Sports reported early on after leaving USC and UCLA for the Big Ten that Big 12 wanted it ArizonaAnd the ArizonaAnd the Colorado And the Utah From Buck 12.

It is not too difficult to discern that Yormark was referring at least to the state of Arizona in his notes. The Big 12’s basketball potential – which is “deeper” than the Pac-12, according to a media rights expert – could spoil the deal. Consider the Big 12 basketball in the expansion that Arizona can boast, BaylorAnd the CincinnatiAnd the HoustonAnd the IowaAnd the kansas And the West Virginia.

The tug of war also continues through the so-called “fourth window” that ESPN wants to show on its late Saturday night programming. Will Pac-12 be able to hold all their teams And the That valuable fourth window, or will she have to share it with the Big 12?

Stay up late and stay tuned.