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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Pac-12's new TV deal will make the Utes really, really rich

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott looks like a genius. And the University of Utah has to be the most fortunate institution in the NCAA right now.

According to multiple sources, the Pacific 12 Conference is about to announce a 12-year, $3 billion television contract with Fox and ESPN. That's four times what the two companies have been paying.

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Not only is that the most lucrative deal of any college conference in the country - more than the Big Ten, the SEC and everyone else - but what the Utes will be getting from this deal absolutely dwarfs what they got as members of the Mountain West Conference.

When Utah begins getting a full share of revenue in 2014, it will make about $21 million per year. That's 17.5 times the $1.2 million-ish they were getting in the MWC.

They've got to be dancing on their desks up at the U.

(Utah gets none of that in 2011; 50 percent in 2012; 75 percent in 2013; and a full share beginning in 2014.)

Details have yet to be announced - they're expected as soon as Wednesday - but Scott told the New York Times that the Pac-12 will start its own network in 2012, but that most of its marquee football and basketball games will be on Fox and ESPN. The league will also retain ownership of its channel, which will air up to 350 events a year.

Football games will air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, the Fox broadcast network and FX. Basketball games will air on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and Fox Sports Net (and its affiliates, like ROOT Sports).

ESPN and Fox will air the Pac-12 football championship game in alternate years; the basketball tournament will alternate between the ESPN networks and FOX and FX.

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