The Pac-12 may need a financial lifeline.
Four weeks after the conference racked up just three total units in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament — worth a measly $4.91 million over the next six years — it's been revealed that the conference's media network is struggling big time. And not just struggling compared to their peer conference networks. They're struggling compared to all sports networks.
Jon Wilner of The Mercury News reported findings from media research firm SNL Kagan that show a staggering drop in subscriber fees. In 2012, the Pac-12 Networks commanded $0.30 in average subscriber fee. At the same time, the Big Ten Network was at $0.37. Not an ideal difference but no one was screaming Armageddon. Five years later, the Big Ten's fee reached $0.48, an increase of 49 percent, while the Pac-12 dropped to $0.11, a decline of 63 percent.
For those scoring at home, the Big Ten's subscriber fee is now 436 percent higher than the Pac-12's.
Also noted by Wilner, of the 24 sports networks in the report, the Pac-12 Network had, by far, the largest decrease in subscriber fees, and was one of only four networks had a decrease at all.
This is a report you need to read (and there's a little bit of optimism, too).