Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott answered questions from readers in a live online chat Thursday on seattletimes.com. Here are some highlights...
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott answered questions from readers in a live online chat Thursday on seattletimes.com. Here are some highlights:
Q: By having so many football games at night, is the Pac-12 trying to make football into a TV event rather than an in-person event? It seems like they would rather have us watch the games on TV.
Scott: That is not our objective. There is a very delicate balance that we try to strike, and we realize first and foremost you rely on the in-game attendance experience and atmosphere that fans attending the games create. But perhaps the most important strategic imperative for me has been to improve our television situation and I made a commitment to get every football game on TV and available for a national audience, hence the agreements with ESPN and FOX, hence the creation of the Pac-12 Networks. But it required more flexibility in terms of our start times so that we can get national clearance for all of these games.
Q: When is the TV deal with DirecTV going to get done? What are the holdups and how can fans apply pressure?
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Scott: I can’t predict exactly when we will have a deal, but the Pac-12 Networks is ready to make an agreement with DirecTV as soon as possible. We have made an offer to DirecTV that is a serious, fair and good value. Our offer to them is consistent with the terms we have already agreed to with over 50 different cable and satellite providers, including four of the five largest in the country. DirecTV is digging in their heels and trying to impose standards on us they don’t impose on others like the Big Ten Network and other regional sports networks. Fans can help by letting DirecTV know how badly they want us. At the moment DirecTV is telling us they are not feeling enough pressure.
Q: How do you see the future of college conferences playing out? Will we eventually move to a system with 16-team superconferences?
Scott: If anyone tells you they know what’s going to happen, including myself, they don’t. There are a lot of different criteria and forces that drive it. Expansion and realignment have been factors in college sports for many decades, and I suspect it will continue. I am hoping we have a period of stability.
Q: How is your tennis game?
Scott: Getting worse by the year. But I still love to play, but these days it’s mostly social, with the family and friends, but I do occasionally get recruited for our USTA 5.0 team.
Q: How many Pac-12 teams do you see making March Madness? I sure hope it would be more than last year.
Scott: I normally don’t make predictions, but I am pretty confident in saying we will do better than last year! I was at the Washington-Arizona game last night ,and Dave Pasch and Bill Walton shared with me that their colleague Joe Lunardi is predicting six Pac-12 teams in the tournament at this stage.