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SBD/July 29, 2011/Media
Pac-12 Officials Worked Hard To Have Network Deals In Place For Media Days
Published July 29, 2011
FUTURE OF POSSIBILITIES: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes, "How to successfully pull off this yet-to-be defined multi-platform approach ... is always up for discussion," since the "fluid media landscape means that making concrete decisions today can be nearly outdated by the next season." ESPN or Fox is "just as much in play as a Google or an Apple." Scott: "The more I've looked into this, the more I realize that no one knows what the world will look like five years from now. That's one of the motivations for having our own network, frankly. It's so that we're able to evolve with technology and distribution. And being here based on the West Coast, and having the leading institutions that supply the leaders of these cutting-edge technology and media companies out here, I see it as part of our DNA." ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said of Scott, "I hope the fans appreciate the work he has been putting in. I rarely compliment a conference commissioner, but he's someone who is a breath of fresh air. ... Whatever he and his group researched after all their due diligence, I assume it's the way to it" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 7/29).
FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD: SI.com's Stewart Mandel wrote, "'Unique' and 'one-of-a-kind' have been recurring mantras the past two years as Scott, a rare outsider among mostly lifelong college administrators, has repeatedly bucked convention in overhauling the once-sleepy conference." Scott was hired in '09 to "modernize the league and negotiate better television contracts." Mandel: "Just over two years later, the Pac-10 is the Pac-12, ESPN and Fox are teaming up to provide the richest fees for any conference in the country, and, starting next season, [the conference]...will be able to televise all football and men's basketball games." Scott is "not the first commissioner to land a lucrative television deal, but he's the first to convince two purported competitors (ESPN and Fox) to team up and split inventory." Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany "was the unquestioned trendsetter in launching the Big Ten Network." But Scott's "unique arrangement with the three most dominant cable companies in the Pac-12 markets (Cox, Comcast and Time Warner) as well as a fourth, Brighthouse, is that the network(s) won't face the same distribution battles the BTN, The Mtn and now Longhorn Network have endured." Scott: "The game-changer here is we got a conference network, but essentially, each of our schools -- with their rival school in their state or market -- has their own network too. It's kind of the best of both worlds." Mandel wrote Scott's "nonconformist, outsider's mentality happens to be exactly what college sports could desperately use right now" (SI.com, 7/28).