ASU’s move from Pac-12 to Big 12

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The PAC-12 will look very different now that Colorado, USC and UCLA have left the conference. All eyes are now on University of Arizona and Arizona State University to see what they plan to do.

Michelle Gardner, a reporter from The Arizona Republic, has been covering the story and joined Arizona Horizon to discuss why this is a major decision. The move comes as the PAC-12’s media rights’ deals are expiring and no new plans are on the horizon. Schools make a lot of money off television rights. What does this mean for athletes, sponsors and fans?

“They want to say it’s not all about the money, but it’s all about the money. It is. You cannot not have your games on major TV networks. You need to be on television in bars and homes, not just on Apple TV,” Gardner said.

The PAC-12 overpromised that it would get new deals for television, but the offers came in low for around $23 million from Apple TV, which took them quite a bit of time to seal the deal.

“The Big 12 gets it’s right, and their deal is about $33 million per school. Now ESPN and FOX have less money left for the PAC-12. The longer this took to get settled, the more it looked like it was going to be a very bad situation for the PAC-12,” Gardner said.

According to Gardner, Arizona State University’s President Michael Crow is very loyal to the PAC-12 conference, but once the Universities of Oregon and Washington decided to leave the PAC-12, the decision was made for him.

“Friday morning, there was a meeting of the chancellors and presidents of the PAC-12, kind of eleventh hour, to try and save the conference. And Michael Crow and Ray Anderson, yes loyal to a fault, wanted to save the conference. The kickoff of this too was when Oregon and Washington decided to go to the Big 12, and then at that point, your conference is no longer sustainable,” Gardner said.

Gardner said the Big 12 deal is a positive move for ASU because there will be new rivalries and a larger, more engaged fanbase.

Michelle Gardner, Sports Reporter at The Arizona Republic

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