SBD/July 9, 2013/Media

Pac-12 Nets Plan To Expand Live Programming, Still Working To Boost Distribution

Pac-12 Networks will carry 35 conference football games this season
With the start of the college football season "less than two months away, the Pac-12 still doesn't have carriage agreements with DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS or Charter," according to Michael Lev of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans, when asked specifically about DirecTV, said, "I wish I could say the conversations were fruitful and we're ready to go. The reality is, I'm not optimistic." Lev noted the "best hope for subscribers to DirecTV and the other holdouts is that they'll feel pressure to get something done as football season gets closer." The Pac-12 Networks have "35 football games on their fall schedule in all." Murphy-Stephans said, "We won't stop trying. We really would love to have a carriage deal with DirecTV. We'll do our best. We just can't change our business model to meet someone's needs when we already have done a comfortable deal (with others)." Meanwhile, the Pac-12 is "increasing the number of live events on its second-season schedule from 550 to 750." It is "upping its 'shoulder' programming from 150 to 200 hours." It is "coming up with new ways to differentiate its six regional networks from one another." The Pac-12 is "striving for increased access to the league's football programs this fall." Two new shows "are in the works, including a 'Hard Knocks'-style, behind-the-scenes documentary series that will follow two teams throughout the season." The participating schools are "expected to be announced at or around the time of the conference's July 26 media day" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 7/5). Meanwhile, the Pac-12 yesterday re-launched the official websites of nine of the conference’s members. The sites are operating under the NeuLion College Platform. Colorado, USC and Utah will re-launch at a later date (THE DAILY).

OVER THE RAINBOW: In Honolulu, Ferd Lewis noted part of the "celebration" over the Univ. of Hawaii's departure from "a fast-sinking Western Athletic Conference a year ago was the anticipation of more lucrative paydays ahead." The athletic department will "deposit about $503,000, or less than a third of" the $1.7M it received in '11, its final year as a full WAC partner. UH received, on average, $2M "per year over the final five years of full membership in the WAC, including" $4.4M after the '08 Sugar Bowl. In addition, UH "kept its local TV rights, which averaged about" $2.5M per year. But in the Mountain West, where it "became a football-only member July 1, 2012, UH currently shares only in BCS money, which meant all of $134,825 this year because none of the MWC teams appeared in the BCS." However, UH is "entitled to keep all its local TV rights fees, approximately" $2.45M this year, under an agreement with the MWC, and "must pay upwards of $650,000 in travel subsidies." In the WAC, UH "kept its local TV money and received a share of the conference rights fees" (HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER, 7/6).
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