By Rock Mayock 9:00 a.m. | In preparation for next month’s Pac-12 Media Day, commissioner Larry Scott has been making the rounds in an effort to promote the forthcoming Pac-12 Network. Although details about the Network were sparse at the time of its June 2011 announcement, in recent months Commissioner Scott has once again proven he is the most innovative mind in sports entertainment since Vince McMahon.
Behind the leadership of Commissioner Scott and newly appointed President of Pac-12 Enterprises, Gary Stevenson, the 7 channel network is nearly ready for its August 15, 2012, launch. In typical FOOTBALLPHDS fashion, we will break down ad nauseam the details of the Network launch inclusive of who will carry it, what will be included in the current rotation of broadcasting and who you can expect to see.
The first question that 99.99% of our wonderful readers have regarding the Pac-12 Network is “Will I get it?” Thus far only four cable carriers have signed on board to carry the Network. For your convenience these four cable carriers are detailed in the chart found on the left. The population of viewers have been lumped into three separate categories: those within the Pac-12 footprint (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington), those outside the Pac-12 footprint (everyone else) and those who have been assed out.
The viewers within the Pac-12 footprint will have access to all nationally televised programming/games in addition to programming that is idiosyncratic to the region in which they reside. For example, viewers residing in Seattle will get a healthy diet of Washington and Washington State centric programming.
The viewers outside of the Pac-12 footprint will only be offered Nationally televised programming provided that they have access to one of the listed cable carriers. These same viewers will also have the option of purchasing a season pass that will give them unfettered access to their favorite team a la NFL Sunday Ticket.
Availability of the Network will work much in the same capacity as Fox Sports packages. Fox Sports is typically available on a upper tier cable package. Revenue is generated through the incremental price difference between a “basic” cable package and a “sports tier” package. Expect to pay that incremental price difference if you wish to enjoy the access to the channel ($5-$10 per month).
As previously stated, Commissioner Scott is a sports entertainment visionary. The Pac-12 Network is currently in negotiation to bring Video on Demand (VOD) to both in and out of Pac-12 footprint viewers. Furthermore, all content will be accessible through on line streaming via your laptop/PC, tablets and smart phones. As we know a large portion of sports entertainment consumers are migrating away from televisions and to their smart devices (Ultrabooks, iPads, and mobile media devices). By embracing digital media at the inception of the Pac-12 Network, Commissioner Scott is assuring a viable long terms business plan.
Unfortunately, if you live internationally or in an area that does not offer access to Bright House Networks, Comcast, Cox or Time Warner Cable you are SOL. However you will still have access, albeit limited, to games broadcast in conjuncture with the Pac-12’s partnership with ABC/ESPN/Fox.
The next question posed by our wonderful readers is “What will I get to see if I actually get the channel?” The Network is structured around one flagship national channel with six regional feeds that will collectively provide 24/7 coverage for each of the Pac-12 universities. Commissioner Scott has promised comprehensive coverage of Olympic sports in addition to studio shows, feature stories on Pac-12 personalities and classic games. Make no mistake about the Network’s programming, the primary focus is assuring that every single Pac-12 football and men’s basketball game finds airtime in crystal clear HD.
Commissioner Scott has demonstrated his commitment to airing the full slate of Pac-12 football games by airing 15 games in the first three weeks of the 2012 season. Collectively the FOOTBALLPHDS are relieved that we no longer have to patron Thirsty Isle to watch compelling matchups such as Nicholls State at Oregon State or Eastern Washington State at Washington State.
Overall the Pac-12 Network will air 35 football games in its inaugural year. The football broadcast schedule will be transition to the men’s basketball which will feature over 120 televised games and women’s basketball which will feature over 50 televised games. In short the Network will usher in a new era of unprecedented coverage for degenerate gamblers everywhere.
As previously mentioned, a portion of the Network’s programming will come in the form of studio shows and feature segments. In an effort to provide credibility to this format both Stevenson and Commissioner Scott have invested in star talent. Legendary USC safety and former Fox analyst Ronnie Lott has been brought on board as was former University of Washington and UCLA head coach Slick Rick Neuheisel and Stanford alum/Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders. Who wouldn’t want to tune in with star power like that? Needless to say the FOOTBALLPHDS are willing to offer our on air services for the right price. Please feel free to send Cousin Felipe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rochelle (email@example.com) a tickler e-mail if your interested.