Marching to Vegas: With The Pac-12 Networks Leading The WayPosted by AMurawa on December 28th, 2012
From the moment it was first rumored, the relocation of the conference tournament to Las Vegas has created quite a buzz among Pac-12 basketball fans. Adam Butler (@pachoopsAB) of PacHoops will be here every week as he offers his unique perspective along our March to Vegas.
Were you to Google the name Larry Scott, you’d find numerous results – and a quick bio of the 1960s body builder. This naturally makes sense as Larry Scott the athletic administrator has been doing some heavy lifting on behalf of fans of his conference. It began with aspirations of a 16-team mega-conference that never came to be. Whether you’re for, against, or ready to just hand realignment over to Bane, Scott’s foresight was such that he got what he wanted: $20-plus million annually for each of his teams. And from where did he garner that payday? The Pac-12 Networks. This is the centerpiece of realignment and, again, whatever your stance on the subject is, the net result is exposure.
Based on surface research and anecdotal evidence, approximately two-to-three basketball games were blacked out each week last season. Before The Networks, I’ve watched experienced my beloved Wildcats in each of the following manners:
- Outside of Arizona Stadium for an untelevised football game
- Via radio broadcast in my apartment, just me and my buddy Johnny Black
- On headphones in a Starbucks via the Idaho State radio broadcast
We don’t have to do that anymore. It’s been about four full months of Comcast Bay Area channel 823 and on such I’ve seen Sendek’s speedsters, Albany knock off Washington, UCLA squeak past in-state opposition, and Tad’s third season develop. It’s 2013 and the monopolization of broadcast television is swiftly dissolving. If I had the net savvy of the average Silicon Valley-ian (I live in the Bay Area) I’d be all over things like Hulu and its ilk. Alas, my 10,000 hours were dedicated to a fruitless baseball career so I need things like Larry Scott putting every game I’d like to see in my lap.
The news that each and every Pac-12 football and men’s basketball game would be broadcast in some capacity was the “no-duh” decision of 2012. Sure, easy for a lifelong fan of the conference to say. But, as they say, money talks and so I’m brought back to the aforementioned dollar bills, cash to the tune of $3 billion. You realize that’s the richest TV deal in the nation? More over, do you know what your program can do with that exposure? Let’s just say – basketball speaking – it’s better than a 4-15 record against ranked opponents. And yes, I’ll be the first to admit that to date Scott’s baby hasn’t been perfect. I’m disappointed I can’t get the regional networks from my provider and the non-high definition broadcasts look like someone is streaming the streamed feed. It’s definitively standard definition. And there’s the DirectTV deal that’s failed which is bad news bears as I’m all too willing to spend all too much money at too many different drinking establishments to watch Pac-12 athletics. That’s truly the next horizon for this broadcast endeavor.
But for the time being the games are on and I can appreciate that. Additionally, the network has shelled out for production value. Have you caught a game on the Big Ten Network, the first of its kind college television network? Trust me when I say the graphics, promos, and head-to-toe package of the Pac-12 Network is unparalleled. Check out the comprehensive schedule on their robust (corporate verbiage) site. Love it. We stand a week from 216 conference hoops games and we’re going to have access to each and every one of them. Seriously, they’re going to air Washington State at Utah and there’s nothing you can do about it but watch. Consider this my farewell to Thursday evenings and Saturdays. Come find me on the couch. I’ve had a good run on these respective days and they’re just about to get better leading right up to that little diddy in Vegas. See you there.