Conference realignment: Amazon interest may affect Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 composition as talks continue

Amazon has emerged as a significant party in college football media rights talks and therefore may become a player in further conference realignment, CBS Sports has learned. The technology giant has been linked to all three conferences that figure to come to resolutions on conference composition in the coming months given its interest in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12, according to industry sources.

The issue is quality of available content. While Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren remains interested in adding Pac-12 teams, his top games have already been distributed elsewhere after the league signed a new media rights deal with CBS, Fox and NBC last month.

Amazon finds itself in a situation where it is likely weighing whether to buy top-tier games from the Big 12 and/or Pac-12 compared to lower-profile options from the Big Ten. The Big 12 and Pac-12 are already in competition seeking new media rights deals with Fox and ESPN believed to be the primary bidders.

How many games would Amazon want and at what expense? There is still skepticism within the industry about the viability of major live sports events that are only made available through streaming services.

“Streaming is going to continue to grow,” one industry source told CBS Sports, “but there is a reason why the NFL is still [largely] on network television.”

Another industry source surmised that, in further expansion, there would be no Big Ten games available for Amazon involving the most attractive teams (think Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State). That reality would have to be considered against top Big 12 games such as Oklahoma State-Cincinnati and Houston-Texas Tech. Are those games more desirable than downstream Big Ten content?

In a historic deal finalized last month, the Big…

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Conference realignment: Amazon interest may affect Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 composition as talks continue – todaysfan.com