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On Tuesday, less than a week after longtime members USC and UCLA left the conference for the Big Ten, the Pac-12 released a statement saying that its board of directors have authorized the league to immediately start negotiations for its next media rights agreements.

The Pac-12’s current media rights deal was set to expire in 2024. The immediate future of the conference is fraught, with numerous potential outcomes including a potential merger with the Big 12, per reports.

The Pac-12 reportedly had a projected AAV of $500 million per year—or $42 million per school—before USC and UCLA left. Now, that number is $300 million ($30 million per school), per the San Jose Mercury News. It’s unclear what sort of financial ballpark the league would be able to create for itself under a renegotiated deal.

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As many as six Pac-12 schools have reportedly engaged in “deep discussions” about joining the Big 12, according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports. Dodd mentions Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah specifically, while adding that Oregon and Washington are also under consideration. However, a Utah official told The Salt Lake Tribune that reports about the meeting are “blatantly false.”

The Pac-12’s current media rights deal left it far behind other Power Five conferences in terms of annual revenue. In the year before the pandemic, the Pac-12 distributed an average of $33.58 million to each of its 12 schools, while the Big Ten dispersed $54.29 million per school.

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