SBD/April 5, 2013/Media

Pac-12 First Conference To Create Network From Official School Sites With NeuLion Deal

The Pac-12 will be the first major conference to create a network from its official school websites. The conference's multimedia arm, Pac-12 Enterprises, has selected NeuLion to make the unified digital platform for all 12 of its member schools. Each school site will maintain its own look and feel, but they will use a common video-centric digital platform, enabling the conference to share content among its university sites, aggregate the audience from all the sites, and also sell advertising across all of them. Pac-12 Digital VP & GM David Aufhauser said the digital network will have some similarities to centralized league networks like NBA.com and MLB.com. Aufhauser: "From a back-end standpoint, yes, it will be similar to the professional leagues. From a fan perspective, we don't want all 12 school sites to look the same. But from a functionality and publishing standpoint, it will be a unified platform." There remain some final pieces to put into place. Ten of the 12 schools will be part of the network when it launches in July. However, Utah and USC still have ongoing contracts with CBSSports.com College Network that must expire in the next few years before they can join.

NEULION A WINNER: Aufhauser said Pac-12 Digital issued an RFP and talked to at least eight different potential partners before selecting NeuLion. Aufhauser said the conference was swayed by NeuLion's ability as a content provider, primarily video, across all devices. The Pac-12 said the new agreement will give each member school the tools and resources to build a site rich with videos, photos, articles, schedules, stats and much more. NeuLion Exec VP/Marketplace Strategy & co-Founder Chris Wagner led the talks for the company. He said NeuLion will work with the schools to create unique content, while also accessing content from the Pac-12 TV Networks that can be used across tablet, mobile and online.

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