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Pac-12 bolsters Australian ties with Fox Sports deal

US college sports conference the Pac-12 has agreed a multi-year rights deal with Australian pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports in the latest part of its global expansion effort.

The agreement includes the rights to televise 13 Pac-12 American football and 21 basketball games in Australia annually. In addition, Fox Sports Australia will air all episodes of Pac-12 Networks’ ‘The Drive’ programme for football and men’s basketball.

Starting this year, the football games will be part of a Game of the Week package running through the entire Pac-12 season spanning September 3 to November 26. The basketball games will include both a Game of the Week package starting December 3 and eight games of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The football and basketball Game of the Week packages will be produced by Pac-12 Networks, the conference’s wholly owned media company. Fox Sports will televise the games live in Australia and feature repeat airings at consistent times for the Australian audience. In addition, Fox Sports will showcase the games on its digital platform.

The partnership represents another step forward for Pac-12 Global, an initiative started in 2011 to use sport to promote goodwill and showcase Pac-12 universities around the world. The Pac-12 this year sent an all-star men’s basketball team to Australia to compete against the Australian national team. On Saturday, the Pac-12’s University of California’s Cal Bears defeated the University of Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors 51-31 in the College Football Sydney Cup.

The contest at ANZ Stadium was broadcast by Fox Sports and marked the first college football game to ever be played in Sydney and the first in Australia since games in Melbourne in 1985 and 1987.

Commenting on the Fox Sports deal, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said: “As our universities continue to operate in an ever-changing globalised world, we see great value in distributing our content globally as a way to showcase our academic and athletic excellence.”