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UCLA and USC’s departure could cost PAC 12 $200 million in new media rights deal

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Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA and USC’s impending departure from the PAC 12 could cost the west coast conference a massive sum of money in their next television media rights deal.

Last year, California universities UCLA and USC dropped a bomb on their long-time conference. In an attempt to land a bigger piece of the media rights pie for their schools, the universities decided to leave the PAC 12 and take their sports programs to the BIG 10, starting in 2024.

The decision sent shockwaves through the conference and college athletics, as it was just the latest migration of a major school to one of the big Power 5 conferences that now have a stranglehold on the industry. It also came at a terrible time for the PAC 12, because the conference had not finalized a contract for their next media rights deal, with the current one ending in next year.

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With the UCLA and USC departure cats out of the bag, it seems that the conference is finding it hard to land a rights deal anywhere near what their schools earned during their current pact.

ucla, usc
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the PAC 12 may end up landing nearly $200 million less than they had originally hoped in a new television deal, due to nationally known brands like UCLA and USC no longer being a part of their conference offering.

Showing the might of the two brands, the BIG TEN was able to score a new media rights deal for $7 billion after adding the two programs to their portfolio of schools. Making matters worse is that the BIG 12 recently secured a rights deal with Fox and ESPN for well over $2 billion. Leaving the PAC 12 as one of the few major conferences in the country without a new rights deal.

PAC 12 schools, including UCLA and USC, reportedly earned between $30 million and $35 million per year from the current rights deal and other conference distributions.

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