College Football Media Notes: Writer Feels Pac-12 Net Debut "All Over The Place"
In Seattle, Bud Withers wrote the Pac-12 Networks debut Wednesday was “all over the place.” There is “no minimizing the ingenuity involved in brainstorming the Networks, and ultimately, executing its launch in less than 13 months from the birth announcement.” The first hour of the debut “was simply disjointed,” but it “settled down in hours 2 and 3.” If there “was a star of the first couple of hours, it was Neuheisel.” However, Ronnie Lott “clearly has some ground to make up.” The show “morphed in a second football-only hour” with Mike Yam, Neuheisel and Glenn Parker. Withers: “Elsewhere, there were some sound issues early, as several times, volume rose and fell. Notwithstanding the herky-jerky first hour, it was a big day for the conference” (SEATTLETIMES.com, 8/16).
SOME WEST COAST LOVE: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes ESPN “is invested in the Pac-12, having signed a rights deal in partnership with Fox Sports that covers 12 years and $3 billion for the conference,” but Pac-12 Networks football analyst Rick Neuheisel “still isn't convinced that's enough to make a network like ESPN change its focus” from the SEC. Neuheisel said, “You wonder how the SEC became so powerful? It's a direct correlation to how ESPN has been talking them up over the years, because they have a financial interest in them. So all the sudden, it's a monster conference." But even though ESPN has a relationship with the Pac-12, he's not sure the net will change its focus on the conference, adding, "I think they just want to be competitive in all the time zones, but we're still not given the same amount of attention as the SEC or the Big Ten. Watch '(College) Game Day,' and the Pac-12 will get one block, and it's usually just about USC or Oregon" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/17).
SO HAPPY TOGETHER: BYU AD Tom Holmoe said of the school’s relationship with ESPN, “They've been fantastic to us. I can honestly say that I never thought it would be this good. … It's been better than expected. There were only five teams ahead of us in college football that played more national TV games.” When asked whether ESPN determines when BYU football plays, Holmoe said, “When we play on Thursday and Friday, the ratings for those games are off-the-charts. We have so many people watching them. It's not just our fans now. There are people all over the country that turn on ESPN and watch, no matter who's playing. And we get some of those games. … The double-edged sword is, so we get the big TV games, but it's hard for the fans” (DESERETNEWS.com, 8/16).