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SBD/June 14, 2011/Colleges
Pac-12's Massive Media Rights Deals Land Larry Scott Atop Power Broker List
Published June 14, 2011
NEXT PROJECT: CBSSPORTS.com's Bryan Fischer wrote Scott's focus "has now turned to what some consider the league's possible crown jewel -- the Pac-12 Network." Scott and Pac-10 Deputy Commissioner & COO Kevin Weiberg are hoping to get the net "off the ground by the time the league's new deal begins next summer." Weiberg, a former Big 12 Conference Commissioner who also helped launch the Big Ten Network, is "no stranger to the concept of having an in-house media operation." He "saw the potential revenue streams a conference could bring in and originally pitched the idea to the Big 12." The "biggest issue facing any potential cable network is distribution." The BTN "ran into issues following its launch and took years to get onto top cable distributors," and the Pac-12 is "expected to face a similar uphill battle with distributors tired of channels continuing to raise subscriber fees." But with the "potential of several hundred million in revenue, a league channel offers too many benefits for a conference that has struggled to promote its brand." Fischer noted besides being the "only BCS league west of the Rockies" and having a "monopoly on the Pacific and Mountain time zones, the network will look to have programming that hits East Coast primetime windows as well." Every football and men's and women's basketball game will be televised, and "retaining some premium games for the network is expected to help." Meanwhile, there is "no question the Pac-12 could eventually be on in millions of homes in China, Japan and other countries." A conference official confirmed that Scott "has already made inquiries about having the channel distributed overseas shortly after launch" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/10).