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Big 12 and Pac-12 commissioners to meet on scheduling alliance, merger

(WIBW)
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:45 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 1:59 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - he commissioners of the Pac-12 and Big 12 met Tuesday to discuss how the conferences might benefit from working together or maybe even merging.

Two people with knowledge of the meeting said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and George Kliavkoff from the Pac-12 were discussing the potential for strategic planning between the two conferences.

“I think there are options for us to partner with other conferences,” Bowlsby said. “There may be opportunity for mergers. There may be opportunities to add members. There may be other opportunities that are currently unforeseen.”

Texas and Oklahoma each voted to accept the SEC’s invitations to join the conference. The SEC’s 14 schools also voted unanimously to invite the two Big 12 schools into the conference.

Oklahoma and Texas are scheduled to join the SEC on July 1, 2025 after their current media rights deal expires.

The remaining eight Big 12 schools —- Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia —- are facing a huge drop in the value of their next television contract without Texas and Oklahoma in the conference.

The Big 12′s current TV deal runs out in 2025. Bowlsby told Texas lawmakers at a hearing in Austin on Monday that losing Texas and Oklahoma could slash the conference’s television revenue by about 50%. He said the TV deals accounted for about $280 million in revenue distributed to the schools.

The Pac-12′s current television deal is similar in value to the Big 12′s and expires in 2024.

Kilavkoff, a former MGM executive who took over as Pac-12 commissioner on July 1, has said the conference is in no rush to add members to a 12-member league that includes Southern California, Oregon, Stanford and Washington.

A full merger of the Big 12 and Pac-12 would create a 20-team conference with schools in every major U.S. time zone.

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