Pac-12 engages Raine to assess media-rights landscape

College sports organisation the Pac-12 Conference has appointed global investment bank the Raine Group to work on its media-rights strategy as it seeks to take advantage of all of its major properties becoming available in the same year.

Raine will also seek to maximise the value of the Pac-12’s full portfolio of media assets through strategic partnerships. The Pac-12 is the only collegiate sports conference to own and control its own media company, Pac-12 Networks, and has current media-rights agreements through 2024.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement: “The Pac-12 is very fortunate to be in the unique position of both having all of our major media rights available in 2024 and owning our own media company, which provides us with great flexibility and optionality in today’s rapidly changing media environment.

“With the value of premium sports media rights continuing to rise and new entrants in the media space, now is a great time to explore with our members all opportunities to create value in the short and long term while staying true to our vision that controlling our own destiny is a great position to be in.”

Joe Ravitch, partner and co-founder of the Raine Group, which will lead the team working with the Pac-12, added: “There is a significant opportunity for the Pac-12 both domestically and internationally where the conference continues to build its presence.”

The Bloomberg news agency notes that while the Pac-12’s media rights will come together in 2024, the conference has also faced criticism by not distributing as much money to its member colleges as that of its rivals.

Pac-12 Networks launched in 2012, along with a 12-year agreement for its top-tier media rights with sports broadcaster ESPN and the Fox network that is worth $3bn (€2.6bn). “Having complete control of all your assets and rights in a time of paradigm shifts is a good thing,” Scott added. “It’s a great time to look.”