SBD/March 11, 2011/Colleges

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  • Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott Stresses Importance Of Lucrative TV Deal

    Scott says launching a Pac-12 TV network is a "high priority"

    Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott Thursday said that "he's 'laser-focused' on negotiating a new television deal that will result in greater national exposure for the conference," according to Beth Harris of the AP. Scott: "There's a sense the Pac-10 has fallen behind. We're fifth among the BCS conferences right now in TV revenue and that's not satisfactory to our leadership. We've fallen behind in terms of national exposure as well as revenues." The conference is in talks with current rights holders ESPN and Fox, and Scott said that he "expects the process to take another few months." Scott added that he "remains committed to launching the Pac-12's own television network, calling it a 'high priority.'" Scott: "We're determined to get broader exposure for our Olympic sports and women's sports, which the Pac-10 excels at, and we're determined to get every football game and basketball game on the air and not have any of those games dark" (AP, 3/10). Meanwhile, in L.A., Ben Bolch notes Scott "acknowledged concern Thursday over a recent Forbes magazine online report showing that the Pac-10 lags well behind other major conferences in terms of football revenue and athletic department profit." The report indicated that the Pac-10 earned $24.6M in football revenue from July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010, "less than half the $49.9 million the Southeastern Conference produced over the same period" (L.A. TIMES, 3/11). 

    WEIGHING THEIR OPTIONS: Scott said that the conference is "looking into the idea of playing the Pac-12 basketball Tournament somewhere other than" L.A, though the site is "locked in" through '12 "because that's the final year of the current TV contract." In Portland, John Hunt notes attendance for Wednesday's Oregon-Arizona State men's game at Staples Center was 7,814, and "perhaps half that many were around to watch" Wednesday's Oregon State-Stanford game. Scott said that he was "disappointed in the crowds last year but attributed it, in part, to USC's absence due to a postseason band." He added that he "intends on seeing what crowds the next few days bring, then spending the next 12 months or so evaluating the idea of a site switch" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/11).

    TIME FOR A CHANGE? In Ft. Worth, Jones & Davison report Big 12 officials "met Thursday with an image branding firm to discuss possible new logos and a marketing strategy." A source said that "no name changes were presented or considered," but that is "not ruled out for discussion sometime between now and the conference meetings May 31-June 6." The source said that there "does not appear to be a strong sentiment for a new name, even though the conference will have only 10 members next season" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/11).

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