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College Hotline - Larry Scott on Pac-12 (non) expansion, night football games, staff...

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    The majority of my discussion with commissioner Larry Scott focused on the Asia/Pacific Rim endeavors, the state and future of the Pac-12 Networks, and the (expanding) media rights revenue gap between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten/SEC.

    But we touched on a few other topics highlighted below.

    (Before we get started, a disclaimer: As with all previous installments in this series, the goal is not to defend or lambaste the conference.

    (First and foremost, the Hotline strives to inform the public discussion. In regard to many Pac-12 issues, there are gaps in the narrative. This series is an attempt to fill in those gaps — not all, but some — based on my 45-minute conversation with Scott on a variety of topics.

    (Hopefully, readers will come away with a bit more insight into the league’s inner-workings. If that changes your opinion on certain issues, fine. If it doesn’t, that’s fine, too.)

    To the topics …

    *** Expansion.

    At the time of my chat with Scott, the Big 12 presidents were considering whether to expand, add a conference title game and/or form a TV network.

    Although there has been no indication the Pac-12 is considering a membership change – nor are there any good available options, as we’ve discussed previously — I broached the topic. (Can’t hurt to get Scott on the record, right?)

    “We have no desire to expand,’’ he said.




    That was that regarding the conference’s immediate intentions, but I followed up with a look down the road:

    Does he envision another wave of Power Five consolidation when several Tier 1 deals wind down early in the middle of the next decade?

    “I don’t think there has to be more conference consolidation,’’ he said. “I like the current construct. We’ll see what the landscape is like when we approach the deals.’’

    *** On the media rights landscape.

    “I’m very bullish on the value of college sports rights,’’ he said. “They keep going up even though the bundle is shrinking. Big events are more coveted. That’s why we put such a value on all the Pac-12 content.”

    *** Conference expenses.

    The salaries of senior Pac-12 conference and network employees received some attention when the 990s were released last month.

    As noted here, nine Pac-12 employees (excluding Scott) earned more than the second-highest paid employee at the SEC, which is generating approximately $100 million more in annual revenue.

    Based on everything I know of the situation, cost of living in the Bay Area accounts for some, but not all, of the disparity between the Pac-12 salary structure and that of the other Power Fives.

    I asked Scott if the criticism was fair.

    “We’re the only conference that has a network staff,” he said. “No one sees the compensation of other network executives (i.e., Big Ten and SEC networks), but we do.

    “We conduct surveys for the highest level employees and use compensation consultants to make sure our (salaries) are within the industry norm. I’m completely satisfied that everything is reasonably within the norms.’’

    *** Night games.

    The conference announced last month a reduction in the number of night football games in 2016:

    As many as four Pac-12 Networks telecasts that would have been slotted for 7 p.m. (or later) will instead start at either 2:30 or 6 p.m.

    Now, it could be that instead of four kickoffs at 7, there are three at 6 and one at 2:30 – that’s not a dramatic difference.

    But it’s something. It shows the conference is listening to the frustrated fans and campuses, and it requires the Pac12Nets to broadcast during the ESPN/Fox exclusive national windows (4 and 5 p.m.).

    The change — the give-in on the exclusive windows — was not initiated with a snap of the fingers.

    “That was an 18-month negotiation (with ESPN and Fox) for four live broadcasts,’’ Scott said. “ESPN and Fox weren’t willing to have fewer night games, but they’re allowing us to encroach on their exclusive windows in exchange for some non-financial considerations in other areas.

    “We know it’s important to fans and schools. Within the parameters of the TV agreement, we’ve done all that’s possible to mitigate some of the friction.”

    xxxxxxxxxxxx

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    The post Larry Scott on Pac-12 (non) expansion, night football games, staff salaries and more appeared first on College Hotline.

    Continue reading...

    by Jon Wilner
     
  2. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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  3. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    So we are not expanding. Until the landscape dictates. So basically what everyone has been saying around here.
     
  4. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Certainly not "inevitable".
     
  5. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Oh expansion will happen, just a matter of when.
     
  6. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

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    Would you say it's inevitable?
     
  7. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Yep money talks. Once a conference goes to 16, others will follow suit.
     
  8. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    This is where I desperately need the head banging the brick wall smiley.
     
    SuperiorBuff and buffaholic like this.
  9. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Sorry geez. Who crapped in your cheerios today?
     
  10. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Nobody. I just get tired of pointing out the fact that expansion is not inevitable. It's not even something that is being considered. What other conferences do doesn't force our hand at all.
     
  11. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    I think it will eventually, maybe not right away.
     
  12. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    It does if the revenue gap between the other P5 conferences increases to the point where the Pac-12 is getting left behind.
     
  13. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Insert head banging against the wall smiley here.
     
  14. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    You just do not understand. You can market better to make up those gaps.
     
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  15. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Something the Pac-12 needs is for Washington, Colorado and USC to get back to their historical levels. USC is one of the hyper elites and both UW and CU are name brands that earned respect in the east when very few programs west of the Mississippi were ever seen on tv.

    It looks like that is happening.

    Also need UCLA to get back to being UCLA in basketball, too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  16. CUFan

    CUFan Welcome back Club Member

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    In addition to historical programs resurrecting, I think the PAC need to get serious about exposure as well. TV times continue to be a problem as well as content carriage (over TV providers). With the current TV structures, I think the PAC is doing long term growth damage in exchange for short term gain. When contracts come due, or whenever possible, the PAC needs to show a little forward thinking on content distribution and TV times.
     

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