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Blog Entry

iPac? Pac-12 Network could be all digital

Posted on: June 27, 2011 3:04 pm
 
Posted by Bryan Fischer

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott topped the CBSSports.com Top 100 this year in large part because of his forward-thinking ability and business savvy. While people always assumed that he was a visionary, perhaps we were underestimating his ability to actually see into the future.

According to the always on top of things Jon Wilner of The San Jose Mercury News, one of the options for the soon to come Pac-12 Network is actually a "whopper" (his term, not mine, but accurate) of an idea that would skip a traditional TV network in favor of a non-subscriber based approach that would see the conference partner with tech giants Apple or Google instead of cable distributors like Time Warner, Comcast or Cox.

iPac anyone? GoogleTV-12? It's all on the table for Scott according to Wilner:

"Instead of turning on your TV to watch the Pac-12 Network, you’d turn on your computer (or tablet or mobile phone).

The drawback to this approach is that in the short term, the conference would give up the revenue that comes from subscription fees — it would rely on advertising alone for revenue.

But because of the $250 million flowing in annually from the Fox/ESPN, the league has financial flexibility — it can select the network structure that best fits its philosophy and long-term needs, even if that’s not the most lucrative near-term option."

Wilner also presents two other options for the Pac-12 Network and they are pretty standard: 1. Take an existing channel and rebrand it; 2. Start a new channel from scratch. Both options would take several million dollars in start up capital which might make the school presidents pause a bit.

In talking with several people in the industry and at the conference office, the most likely option is a combination of all three. This would involve taking an existing channel (such as league partner Fox Sports's Los Angeles-based Prime Ticket channel) and rebranding it, with new offices and studios in either Los Angeles or San Francisco and adding a large digital network component to complement it.

Regardless what form the Pac-12 Network takes upon launch next year, chances are it ends up being bold, bleeding edge and forward-thinking.

In other wards, expect Larry Scott's fingerprints all over it.
Comments

Since: Sep 30, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:05 am
 

iPac? Pac-12 Network could be all digital

I dont mind the internet, sometimes its the only way I can watch games (via ESPN3.com).  So what I did, I got an appleTV and now I stream games from ESPN3.com straight to my TV.




Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:22 am
 

iPac? Pac-12 Network could be all digital

LSUMC

This is just for the Pac-12 Network not all of the pac-12 football games.  This would primarily allow for sports like baseball and basketball to always be available to fans. I really like the idea my phone has 4G and it would be really cool to be on the road and not miss sports. This is something I would definately pay money for.



Since: Jun 24, 2011
Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:09 pm
 

iPac? Pac-12 Network could be all digital

There are two points to keep in mind when evaluating the potential for an all-digital network.  First off, most new televisions have an HDMI input so if you're streaming content on YouTube through your laptop you can easily get it on to your television.  Before I got my Blu-Ray player with Netflix already on it, this is how I watched movies and the quality is good.  The other is that while a not -nsignificant number of fans don't have internet access, the fans that advertisers are most interested in reaching usually do.  The older people who are less likely to have internet connections are also less likely to be persuaded by advertising but the young male demographic that advertisers crave is very tech-savvy so the part of the audience they might be shutting themselves out from by going all digital is a part of the audience who probably wasn't worth a lot of ad dollars in the first place.  




Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: June 27, 2011 5:28 pm
 

iPac? Pac-12 Network could be all digital

I enjoy Pac 10/12 football, but I have very little interest in watching football games on a computer.  I would think most older fans would feel the same way.  I suspect that the best games will be on TV anyway and the computers will get what is left. 




Since: Aug 25, 2010
Posted on: June 27, 2011 5:25 pm
 

iPac? Pac-12 Network could be all digital

Pure Awesomeness!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com