August 21, 2023
Pac-12 collapse: WSU’s Schulz suggests Fox’s strategy (to block Apple) fueled the Big Ten’s raid of Washington, Oregon
One of the Pac-12’s longtime media partners had strategic reasons for taking the step that decimated the conference, according to a university president with knowledge of the media rights negotiations. Washington State’s Kirk Schulz, chair of the Pac-12 board of directors, suggested late last week that Fox might have lured Washington and Oregon into the Big Ten in order to prevent the Pac-12 from signing an agreement with Apple. “We’ve got just a couple networks that are making the real decisions about who goes where based on the dollars they want to put into it,” Schulz said during a conversation published on the university’s YouTube channel. “I do think if I was Fox and ESPN, I’m not sure I want Apple in the marketplace, frankly. I don’t want somebody with pockets that are that deep as a rival if I can afford it.” Pac-12 presidents were expected to sign a grant-of-rights contract with Apple that would have kept the conference together. But a few minutes before their crucial meeting on Aug. 4, Washington and Oregon announced they were . The tectonic development prompted Utah, Arizona and Arizona State to seek shelter in the Big 12, leading to the collapse of the conference. Fox owns the Big Ten’s media rights and was responsible for the $375 million (approximately) that Washington and Oregon will receive over six years (2025-2030) of the conference’s media contract. Fox has not made a deep push into the streaming market, preferring to focus on delivering sports content over its linear networks. Meanwhile, Apple has distribution deals with Major League baseball and Major League Soccer and was attempting to break into the college Football space through an agreement with the Pac-12. “Was it a strategic move on their part to say, ‘If we kill the Apple deal, that gives us five or six years without them in college football?’” Schulz said. “People can say, ‘Kirk, put on a tin-foil hat; that’s kind of (a) conspiracy theory.’ But on the other hand, I can see making a business decision — I’m not talking about the value of the schools or any of that — that might be seen as more strategic to have a corner on the marketplace.” The theory that Fox wanted to block Apple has traction across the Pac-12 footprint and support in the broader sports media space. But Schulz is the first Pac-12 executive to address it publicly. During a wide-ranging discussion with former journalist Enrique Cerna, a member of WSU’s board of regents, Schulz acknowledged that the Cougars were “standing in line like everybody else to collect that check” from media companies. But he expressed concern over the role Fox and ESPN play in conference realignment. (The full interview .) “The more you pull competition out of the marketplace, the easier it becomes for some of those funders to really, really call the shots,’’ he said. “We’re sort of down to really two dominant players that are really determining what happens with expansion. I don’t mean necessarily that any one of them is calling a commissioner and saying, ‘Go get these two schools.’ Maybe that’s happening; I don’t know that. “But what is happening is the commissioner calls them and says, ‘We’d like to add X and Y,’ and (the networks) get to make the decision, ‘Do I give a pro-rata amount for that?’ Or do I say, ‘Sorry, we’re not going to give you any money.’ I would argue that’s the golden rule: Whoever has the gold makes the rules. And that’s where we are right now.” (Fox executives were not available for comment.) Washington and Oregon needed more than cash to make the jump into the Big Ten, however. They also needed approval from the conference’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors. That same group approved invitations for USC and UCLA in June 2022, thereby creating an existential crisis for the Pac-12. For most of the intervening 13 months, the Big Ten presidents seemed unwilling to take the final step — membership offers for the Pacific Northwest powerhouses — that would lead to the Pac-12’s destruction. What changed in early August, other than Fox’s willingness to fund the expansion? Arizona’s application for membership in the Big 12 played a key role in the process, according to a source. The Wildcats weren’t the only school to seek a lifeboat; Utah and ASU would follow them into the arms of the Big 12 (and Colorado, of course, had already jumped). But in an attempt to secure a home , Arizona formally applied for membership in the Big 12 in the middle of the week — before Oregon and Washington rejected the Pac-12 grant-of-rights agreement on that fateful Friday morning. The Big Ten became aware of Arizona’s application to the Big 12, according to the source. “So (Big Ten commissioner) Tony Petitti tells his presidents, ‘We aren’t the ones,'” the source said. “They felt like they weren’t the ones to fire the kill shot.” That triggered the Big Ten presidents to approve membership for Washington and Oregon without guilt — and with Fox’s cash as their carrot, the source said. Arizona’s application was approved by the Big 12 on Thursday evening, according to a Yahoo report, even though president Robert Robbins awoke Friday morning prepared to join ASU and Utah in signing the Pac-12’s grant-of-rights deal. But by then, the Big Ten’s hammer had fallen.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Academy Awards

‘Oppenheimer’ Reigns at Oscars With Seven Wins, Including Best Picture and Director

Get the latest news about the 2024 Oscars, including nominations, winners, predictions and red carpet fashion at 96th Academy Awards

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
JoJo Siwa Reveals She Spent $50k on This Cosmetic Procedure
April 08, 2024
tilULujKDIA
Gypsy Rose Blanchard Files for Divorce from Ryan Anderson
April 08, 2024
kjqE93AL4AM
Bachelor Nation’s Trista Sutter Shares Update on Husband’s Battle With Lyme Disease | E! News
April 08, 2024
mNBxwEpFN4Y
Alan Tudyk Does All His Disney Voices
April 08, 2024
fkqBY4E9QPs
Bob Iger responds to critics who call Disney "too woke"
April 06, 2024
loZMrwBYVbI
Kirsten Dunst recites a classic cheer from 'Bring it On'
April 06, 2024
VHAca3r0t-k
Dr. Paul Nassif Offers Up Plastic Surgery Warning for Gypsy Rose Blanchard | TMZ
April 09, 2024
cXIyPm8mKGY
Reba McEntire Laughs at Joy Behar's Suggestion 'Jolene' is Anti-Feminist | TMZ TV
April 08, 2024
11Cyp1sH14I
NeNe Leakes Says She's Okay with Cheating If It's Done Respectfully | TMZ TV
April 08, 2024
IsjAeJFgwhk
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s wedding was 20 years in the making
April 08, 2024
BU8hh19xtzA
Bianca Censori wears completely sheer tube dress and knee-high stockings for Kanye West outing
April 08, 2024
IkbdMacAuhU
Kelsea Ballerini tells trolls to ‘shut up’ about pantsless CMT Music Awards 2024 performance #shorts
April 08, 2024
G4OSTYyXcOc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
08
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
07
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Liverpool
07
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Nottingham Forest
07
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Fiorentina
07
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - Chelsea
07
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Monza - Napoli
07
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Borussia Monchengladbach
07
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Genoa
07
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Atalanta
07
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hoffenheim - Augsburg
07
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Frosinone - Bologna
06
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Heidenheim - Bayern Munich
06
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Stuttgart
06
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Arsenal
06
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Lazio
06
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Manchester City
06
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Lecce
04
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Manchester United
04
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Sheffield United
03
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Luton
03
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Aston Villa
02
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Tottenham Hotspur
01
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Atletico Madrid
01
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lecce - Roma
01
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Empoli
31
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Arsenal
31
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Athletic Bilbao
31
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Brighton
30
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Las Palmas
30
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Manchester United
30
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - AC Milan
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.