The big news, of course, was the Pac-12 television deal that commissioner Larry Scott brokered last week. Here are the basic facts:
- The deal kicks off in 2012 and runs through 2023.
- Official numbers haven't been reported either by the Pac-12 or by the partnering networks, ESPN and Fox, but widespread reports peg the haul at roughly $250 million per year, distributed equally across the conference for an average of approximately $21 million per school per year. That's some serious cheddar, dog. (Utah, by the way, didn't get as sweet a deal as Colorado upon joining the conference, so they won't get a full piece of the pie for two more years. The Utes aren't crying though; that expected $21M share is about ten times the TV revenue they banked last season.)
- There will be a Pac-12 Network, and unlike the Big Ten Network, this one will actually carry some marquee football and basketball games.
- EVERY SINGLE football and basketball game will be televised. I can't emphasize the importance of this enough. Games will be divvied up over the three platforms, but they'll all be there, and they'll all be live.
So what does this mean for the Mighty Card? The money will be nice -- money is always nice -- but it's the impact on recruiting that I'll most look forward to watching. We all know that Stanford has to cast a wide recruiting net in order to gather in those players who are academically-minded enough to gain admission to the University, and it can sometimes be difficult to convince an East Coast recruit to come to the other side of the country to play football. One of the big sticking points is often that friends and family won't be able to watch any of the games, but that argument has just been erased. Unlike any coach in the Big Ten, the SEC, or the ACC, Stanford coaches will be able to sit in any living room in America and tell proud parents that they'll be able to watch their son play football on television. Huge.
Also, in smaller but equally interesting news, it was announced last week that San Francisco's KNBR, the premiere sports radio station in the Bay Area, will be the flagship station for Stanford Football and Basketball. As the football program faces the daunting task of building up a fan base and increasing interest in the team, this is a huge step. Bay Area sports fans who are tuning in to KNBR to listen to San Fransciso Giants and 49er games will hear promos for Stanford football, interviews with Stanford coaches and athletes, and sports talk geared focusing on the program.