Fox To Broadcast 2011 Pac-12 Championship Game

Fox Sports has popped for $25 Million for the additional inventory that is the Pac-12/10 next year. The biggest part of that, $14.5 million, is for the Pac-12 Championship Game, which will give Fox a doubleheader on Championship Saturday, Dec. 3. Fox had previously reached agreement with the Big 10(12) to televise their conference championship for the first five years.

The Pac-12 game will be in the afternoon, followed by the Big-10+ game in the evening. Barring one or both teams being in the running for the BCS National Championship game, the games could be the semi-finals for the Rose Bowl.

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Notably, the championship games will be carried by Fox's National over-the-air network (think Friday's Cotton Bowl, and their NFL coverage), not their network of regional sports networks, like Fox Sports Nortwwest, Bay Area, Arizona, etc., which carries the games during the regular season.

The other $10.5 million of the payout is for the additional games that the FSN network will carry, either locally or nationally, that result from the addition of Utah and Colorado to the Pac-12.

With the shrinkage of the Big XII - II to ten teams, due to Nebraska and Utah leaving, ironically to give the Big-10(12) and Pac-12 the teams that allow them to stage a lucrative championship game, ESPN loses one of their Championship day games, though look for schedule shuffling to push traditional Thanksgiving weekend games, possibly Oklahoma-Oklahoma St. and Texas-Texas A&M, back a week. ESPN still has the ACC championship game, though it has not drawn the audience that the SEC title game, carried by CBS, has, and that the Big-10 and Pac-12 games are expected to garner.

Perhaps this payoff (and those that a deal of this size for 1 year portend) will sooth those that resisted the move to 12 teams. Certainly it will ease things in a variety of AD's offices.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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