Presidents and chancellors must get it right.
John, come on. Do your sources expect us to believe that no established media company was willing to partner on a Pac 12 Network in 2012?
Everyone who followed sports business back then (and since) knew the Pac 12 had certain terms they wouldn’t budge on because the Big Ten and SEC were getting those terms. Precisely what those terms were, I do not know. Perhaps your sources know
But these Pac 12 people should not be allowed to elude responsibility for being stubborn in the lead up to the launch of the network. They thought ESPN and Fox were asking for too much, so they gambled a went off on their own. The gamble lost
Just to kick the dead horse, but does it gall anybody that Gene Block who was present and had a vote at the beginning of the ill-fated Larry Scott era, and who did nothing right the ship when Larry Scott ran the PAC 12 aground, and was at the helm when UCLA athletics went deeply in the red, ultimeately made the decision for UCLA to cut and run to the BIG10? The man is made of teflon.
Yes, to be a University President you have to be an academic. But historically academics are not decisive. Just as they need consensus for every decision. That's why sports (football) and Universities just don't share the same value system...
I have worked at five Universities in 3 countries. There are commonalities to all of them, including messy politics, Presidents and Vice-Chancellors not many people trust and quite a few entrenched academics who see things their own way and won't hear anything else. Gaining consensus can be akin to herding cats. I pray the PAC Whatever CEO group can act collectively for the greater good of the conference. Now.
Is it the PAC12 holding this up or could it be ESPN and Amazon?
Two years ago ESPN was the undisputed champion of NCAA sports media. They owned SEC and shared all the other P5 networks. However that all changed when B1G rejected ESPN and went all in with Fox. That put Fox on equal footing, however Fox did something else, it underhandedly destabilized the PAC by taking two marque programs, essentially destabilizing a P5 conference that is shared by both ESPN and Fox.
Fox wants nothing to do with PAC media rights, because it already owns the MW Network and now the LA market. Plus allowing the PAC to collapse further weakens ESPN in the market. This all looks really bad right?
Except that ESPN has to keep the PAC alive if it wants to remain top in the media market. PAC collapses and almost the entire West Coast belongs to Fox (UW, UO to B1G and most others to MW) , minus four universities that absorb in the shared Big12 Conference,
Now add that ESPN needs the PAC, but wants to pay less... in comes streaming that has a huge interest in taking up any conference to get its foot in the door. To ESPN this is double edged sword. It assists in keeping the PAC alive, them keeping costs down... but there is major detractor... how can ESPN be for certain that streaming won;t throw them under the bus five years from now and hand the keys over to Fox?
The streaming partnership is more than just sharing games, which sports to play, time slots, etc... there is more at stake for ESPN in a much larger picture.
Then add the Disney (owner of ESPN) president just put less interest in ESPN than past presidents.
ESPN has to navigate these waters very carefully, or they will only have the SEC and lose the rest of the Nation to Fox and/or streaming.
ESPN is also in a bind, just like the PAC12.
I just wish they could pull back the curtain a little bit to get rid of some of this speculation
Personally I think it's time the PAC 10 conference schools move on. I think the four corner schools will end up in the Big 12 and I think Oregon and Washington will end up in the Big10 along with USC and UCLA. The logic is it helps travel for USC and UCLA plus Oregon and Washington have always been really competitive with both LA schools and should be competitive in the Big 10. They would be a great addition to the Big 10. Yes I am biased as an Oregon fan.
The Pac-12 future was sealed when they hired Larry Scott. Like others I remember not being able to see PAC 12 games because I had no way to receive Pac-12 unless I subscribe to a service I did not want. Thank goodness some games are on Fox or ESPN. I still don't have the Pac-12 even though I have lots of streaming channels.
I do not think the Pac-10 even adding San Diego State and SMU will receive as much per school as the Big 12. And the difference will become greater as time goes by. They will be far behind conferences like the Big 10 and the SEC and eventually the Big 12. It's time for each school to move on to a new destiny. I do feel bad about the schools left behind but things will work out for them.
I'm not sure where Oregon State, Washington State, Utah, Stanford and Cal will land but I'm sure it will work out.
A bunch of academics running the show who have no idea what they are doing coupled with the former head who was rudderless.
I had Direct TV in 2012...no Pac-12. I moved to Dish and then Comcast. I got the Pac-12 Channel, but the joke was I had to give them another $10 a month to get the "local" Pac-12 channel meaning the Bay Area. Comcast said we could stream it on the go. We went to Hawaii 2 years ago at about the 2nd football game. It didn't work. We spent months trying to stream it and never could get it done. That is about the time I pulled the plug. It was a joke really.
I pay $65 a month to Google for basically watching sports with no Pac-12. I am about to pull that plug since I could stream the Dubs and baseball is really a waste to watch, so is it any wonder the "Pac-Whatever" has a bad case of cranial-rectal inversion when it comes to what next for expansion and media rights...buffoons basically in my book.
John. (deep sigh) love your stuff brother and I know you are just not wanting to alienate your media peers but the production value of the P12 network is NOT good. It was awful. The talent was not good. If they were good they would be working at FOX, ESPN or one of the major networks. Nobody is beating down Yogi Roths door to poach him to Fox, lol. Some of their Friday night games from a production value not to mention the poor on the field play, was embarrassing
Excellent piece. Most telling to me: that the presidents were too distracted by their own problems to keep Larry Scott in line.
Question: When won't college presidents be distracted?
The conference needs to create some other form of oversight. The presidents can have the final say, but with all the revenue involved and the desire to keep the Pac 12 intact, someone needs to be paying more attention to how the commissioner and the conference are doing.
The Pac 12 Network's programming and on-air talent has been terrific. Unfortunately the network's budget cuts mean less coverage of the lesser sports. Hate to see any further cuts--or to lose the knowledgable broadcasters, most of whom are Pac 12 home grown.
The title of the article should be “Past
time…” What actions have the presidents and chancellors taken to show they are capable of stopping the bleeding? It took years of Larry Scott getting booed for them to fire him! I hope they can execute a plan that allows all members to remain competitive until the next round of realignment but that is a tall order for this bunch.
Yep. Spot on John. The conference has been b-slapped and laughed at. Time to pull it all together without being relegated to the minor leagues.
The University of Utah President is TAYLOR R. RANDALL since 2021, not RUTH WATKINS. He is a big supported of Athletics - Thanks for updating that information
The longer this delays, the more I worry about Washington. As an Oregon fan I'm conditioned to never - not ever - trust the University of Washington. They stabbed Oregon in the back in 1949, again in the late '60s when they, USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal broke up the old Pacific Coast Conference and they'll do it again, particularly since the other untrustworthy parasite in the conference - USC - is leaving Dodge, along with their sheeple, UCLA.
Get this deal done. You've had more than ample time, chancellors and presidents. And do not trust Washington. Ever.
Spot on John but as you mentioned this group hasn’t engaged in years. The conference has been struggling for years before USC and UCLA exited.
Before USC and UCLA bailed the biggest issue was distribution and time zone. If the campus leadership was PROACTIVE they could have added teams in the central time and mountain time zones even before the Big 12 issues. Houston, SMU, BYU or BiG 12 teams and they didn’t do anything to solve the issue that was in front of them.
Then Texas and Oklahoma left and the BIG 12 the conference had a rare second chance to take advantage again and didn’t. I would suggest they would have had some leverage being the only game in town in the SW and West if they would have taken the top BIG 12 teams. That would have been a leverage point.
Two strikes and very close to the third. We will see but the chances were there
If the conference goes all in to Apple, gotta rebrand to the iPac ;)