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Volume 24 No. 112
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Pac-12 Deal With SiriusXM Seen As A Positive; UCLA AD Talks Conference TV Pacts

The Pac-12 announced the creation of a SiriusXM channel three weeks ago, and it has been a "win for the conference, a win for the schools, and a win for the fans," according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. It took the conference "no time to accept the SiriusXM offer when executives broached the idea with Pac-12 officials last spring." Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner & COO Jamie Zaninovich said the conference's response to an offer was "Absolutely." He added, "It’s phenomenal exposure. It was an opportunity for us to be on a leading national provider in an interesting space. Their user base tracks well with our fans and demographics." SiriusXM, not the conference, is "working directly with the campuses and the multimedia rights-holders to piece this thing together." Zaninovich said that SiriusXM execs have "promised the conference and the campuses 'equity' in programming decisions." The daily framework will be "fairly standard, with talk shows during morning and evening drive-time and live events at night (and in the afternoon when possible)." The shows will have a "significant call-in component." Live events will "focus on football and men’s basketball, but not at the exclusion of the Olympic sports." Look for the conference to "make maximum possible use of Pac-12 Networks content and talent" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 1/13).

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: In L.A., Ben Bolch asked UCLA AD Dan Guerrero for his "thoughts on the Pac-12 television contracts in light of the criticisms over things such as midweek games, basketball trips that can last five days, 8pm [local] start times and revenues that lag behind those generated by the other Power Five conferences." Guerrero: "The business model has been one that has been questioned by many, and we’re living within the confines and the construct of the deal points that exist. ... We’re going to live with these deal points for the next six years, and ... not going to be able to do anything relative to the negatives at this point and time, so the positives is really where you need to focus on -- the exposure, the quality of the network, the content and what that meant from a positive standpoint for the institutions. The negatives ... the most important thing that one can say is to be poised to deal with the next negotiating cycle to be able to optimize not only those things that are good about the network but also to shore up those elements as you’ve described that need to be remedied" (L.A. TIMES, 1/13).