SBD/May 31, 2013/Media

Pac-12 Execs Happy With Networks' First Year, Though Lack Of Carriage Deals Looms

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The Pac-12 Networks' inaugural year is "nearly in the books," and it was an "ambitious beginning to what the conference hopes will be a long and lucrative addition to the sports fans’ television yearnings," according to Kerry Eggers of the PORTLAND TRIBUNE. Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans said of the first year, "In so many ways, we exceeded all of our expectations. ... We executed all 550 events live in (high definition). We had a perfect blend -- 50-50 in men’s and women’s sports." Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis said the first year was "pretty darn good," and the net is "going to make a profit, or come close to breaking even, the first year." De Carolis: "The exposure for our Olympic sports -- sports like baseball, softball, gymnastics and volleyball -- has been off the charts." Oregon Senior Associate AD/Marketing & Public Relations and Pac-12 Net liaison Craig Pintens added, "The production quality of games has been great, and the studio shows have been great and continue to grow." Eggers wrote as a "casual observer of the networks, I’m going to give them a B-minus," as there is "plenty of room for improvement." De Carolis and Pintens both pointed out the "most obvious flaw," which is the conference not having a carriage deal with DirecTV and Charter Communications. Pintens said, "It’s amazing to me that the Big Ten network is available in Pac-12 country. Direct doesn’t have the Pac-12 Networks, which speaks volumes to what they think of Pac-12 fans" (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 5/30).

THE TWO UTES IN QUESTION: In Salt Lake City, Lya Wodraska reports the majority of the Univ. of Utah’s revenue during FY '11-12 "came from the Pac-12’s TV deal with ESPN and Fox." The school's athletic department made $4,079,028 in revenue during '11-12, a period "in which they received only a partial cut of new money brought into the league that was generated by their move from the Mountain West Conference to the Pac-12." While Utah’s amount is "far below the profit enjoyed by Stanford and Oregon, which led the league with $15,651,602 and $15,200,450 in revenue, respectively, Utah’s haul is much higher than it was getting in the MWC, where $1.2 million was considered a good amount" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 5/31).
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