After months of anticipation and predictions, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott took the stage in New York as part of day 2 of the Pac-12's bi-coastal media tour to announce the creation of Pac-12 networks. Many people, including Jon Wilner who has been on the for all Pac-12 information since expansion became a possibility, whittled the possibilities down to Comcast, Fox, Time Warner, and a cutting edge internet streaming network. Larry Scott's announcement, was cutting edge, but it wasn't like anything anyone was expecting.
Scott said that this announcement marks the creation of Pac-12 Networks. Pac-12 Networks is made up of 7 separate networks including Pac-12 Washington, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 No. California, Pac-12 So. California, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Mountains, and a Pac-12 national network. These networks will all launch in August 2012.
There will be 850 live events on all networks combined, including 350 on the national network alone. That includes the remainder of Football and Man's Basketball games that aren't airing on the Pac-12's other TV partners (meaning that every Football and Men's Baskeball game will have a TV game), and a hefty increase in the amount of the conference's olympic sports on TV. In addition to these live events the network will also carry research and educational based programming with the intention of advancing the schools academic profiles.
While Pac-12 networks is possible due to a partnerships with four of the biggest cable providers in America (Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Bright House), the networks are still completely owned by the Pac-12.
The only carriage agreements yet to be announced are on the four cable providers listed above. While Scott says negotiations will happen with other cable, satellite, and tel-co providers, nothing is ready to be announced yet.
One of the more exciting announcements made is the fact that every network will be part of the "TV Everywhere" program. This means that, as long as you are a subscriber to the network on TV, you'll be able to watch the networks on computers, tablets, smartphones, and other internet connected devices. Think of it like ESPN 3 (which is available on Xbox 360) and MLB TV (which is on PS3, and boxes like Roku and Apple TV).
Obviously this is a very exciting announcement. The Pac-12 brass gets what they want (A national presence with a ton of fantastic games to attract viewers), and the schools and fans get what they want (An up close and personal experience with a lot of TV exposure to their local fans).
Be excited Coug fans. Be excited Pac-12 fans. This may not be the deal you're expecting, but it is certainly the best possible deal. Larry Scott has pulled off a miracle again. I don't care how much we're paying that man, give him a damn raise.