In San Jose, Jon Wilner noted Pac-12 Networks' basketball studio show "will broadcast live from the conference tournament in Las Vegas" March 7-10, and it was Pac-12 Nets President Mark Shuken who recognized the "need to move the shows" to the city. The change "lends legitimacy to the networks, makes for a better overall product and sends a message that men’s basketball is a priority." Wilner: "That hasn’t always been clear in the past" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 2/15).
HELLO FRIENDS: The AP reported Fox Sports this season "will again use a lineup of NASCAR drivers as analysts for a race." Working the April 28 Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway will be Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Keselowski and Bubba Wallace Jr. All but Keselowski and Wallace were "part of the driver crew that called last year's Xfinity race at Pocono Raceway" (AP, 2/15).
GETTING REACQUAINTED: WME-IMG co-President Mark Shapiro said conversations to renew UFC's domestic TV deal are "ongoing." Shapiro: "It’s up at the end of this year. The window’s now open, we’re talking to any and all platforms, and we’re still talking to Fox which has been a tremendous partner. I think we’ll have something to announce in the next few months." Meanwhile, VARIETY's Cynthia Littleton noted IMG Original Content has "become a hub in Endeavor’s effort to diversify through the ownership" of UFC, PBR and other properties. The production operation "works with each of the brands to develop TV properties, and with the Endeavor Global Marketing wing to recruit sponsors and branded content opportunities" (VARIETY.com, 2/13).