Pac-12 Mulls Morning Kickoffs For More East Coast TV Exposure
The Pac-12 has had "preliminary discussions with Fox" about having a football game kick off at 9:00am PT as soon as this season, in order to "help alleviate night kickoffs and explore a new TV window to maximize exposure on the East Coast," according to Bryan Fischer of NBCSPORTS.com. There would be at most "one or two games after Week 3" that would be eligible, and Mountain Time Zone schools like Utah and Colorado "would be chief candidates." Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has "only begun to feel out the league’s athletic directors about the idea, which he notes would be completely voluntary for the schools involved." Fans on the West Coast have been "vocal about having too many nighttime kickoffs" in the 5:00pm and 7:30pm PT windows. The idea also coincides with a "recent push by Fox to make a much bigger deal about the noon ET window with their college football coverage" (NBCSPORTS.com, 7/24). Scott yesterday at Pac-12 media day said, "I’ve always been willing to think outside the box." Scott: "Why not the occasional Pac-12 game in that window?" (SI.com, 7/24). USA TODAY's Jace Evans writes, "While it seemingly would put Pac-12 football in front of more eyeballs on the East Coast, it remains to be seen whether local fans would take to pre-noon football in a place that has rarely seen the college game start so early" (USA TODAY, 7/25). Detroit-based WXYZ-ABC's Mike Foss: "With FOX ... making it clear it's emphasizing the Noon ET time slot for marquee games this year, I can see why the Pac-12 is actually considering it." Sports podcaster George Wrighster tweeted, "I don’t hate this for the PAC-12. Players might hate it. They must get more east coast viewership. The 7:30p PT or later kickoffs are brutal nationally" (TWITTER.com, 7/24).