Pac-12 Networks In Limbo Without Live Football, Full Staff
The Pac-12 Networks is not "currently scheduled to carry any of the conference football games this season," according to John Canzano of the Portland OREGONIAN. The first six weeks of the season "will be televised by a combination of ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox and FS1," while Fox "will televise the Dec. 18 title game." A source said that the Pac-12 "hasn’t determined which networks might carry the rest of the Dec 18-19 weekend games." Canzano reported it is "likely that ABC, ESPN and FS1 take at least three of them," and "maybe a fourth." That "would leave the Pac-12 Network with a game or two, maybe." The Pac-12 "laid off or furloughed" much of its media staff amid the pandemic, and "worse yet, it doesn't appear to have a plan." Sources said that the conference "hasn't communicated with network employees sitting in limbo." Still, the conference is under "contractual obligation to carry men’s and women’s basketball games on the network." Pac-12 VP/Public Affairs Andrew Walker last week said, "During the course of the season, Pac-12 Networks will be producing football content that will be distributed across the full breadth of Pac-12 Networks media platforms." But Canzano noted if a "Saturday night wrap-up show is in the plans, that hasn't yet been communicated to staff." If the Pac-12 "does produce some kind of wrap show it will air during the regular season without a football game" as a lead-in (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/10).
PAC-12 COMMISH SPEAKS OUT: In San Jose, Jon Wilner noted Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott last week appeared on Phoenix-based KMVP-FM's "Bickley & Marotta" for an "informative, candid conversation." Scott said of the Pac-12 Networks: "It's achieved a lot of what its objectives were. ... It has not reached its full potential, for sure, in terms of distribution. I know the DirecTV issue has been a huge irritant for fans that have it and weren’t willing to switch to the several other networks in every market that have (the Pac-12 Networks)." He continued, "Sure, there are things we could have done differently. We might have made different tradeoffs, but certainly, there have been a lot of benefits our members have gotten by having the network." Scott added "what we'll see" in '24, when the conference's new media deal begins, is the "wisdom of keeping our rights and owning and controlling it ourselves and being able to adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 10/10).