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Pac-12 Network Planning to Air No Live Football this Season

If you’ve ever had a five-leg parlay that ends with, say, a late-night Colorado versus Washington State game, you look for it on TV, and you realize it’s on Pac-12 Network, which of course you don’t have, you’re going to be interested in this news: Sources are telling Outkick that the Pac-12 Network is not planning to have any live football inventory this season.

John Canzano of The Oregonian was the first to report that the Pac-12 Network will likely air no games this season, penning an extensive story that paints the network as a “hollow shell of an operation” with an uncertain future.

The reasons for this become pretty clear when you think about it. The Pac-12 is staging a six-game regular season. Instead of just having the conference championship game on December 19th, all Pac-12 teams will be playing that weekend. Thus, with each team hoping to play seven games–with Covid, this is, at best, wishful thinking — there will be a total of 42 Pac-12 games.

The plan, right now, is for all of those games to be divvied up between Fox Sports and ESPN/ABC. In August, Jon Wilner of Mercury News reported that the networks were set to pay the Pac-12 $276.4 million for live rights in the 2020-21 sports cycle. Due to the truncated season, it makes sense for the Pac-12 to minimize the clawbacks of this money by giving bigger network partners broadcasting rights to as many games as possible.

There is a possibility that the Pac-12 Network will wind up with a handful of games that neither Fox nor ESPN/ABC can fit into their schedules, considering the abundance of college football they have to cover in November and December.

Though the Big Ten is in a similar position, there’s no way to paint the current picture of the Pac-12 Network as anything other than a failure. The Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who paid himself and his executives lavish bonuses right before laying off or furloughing approximately half of the conference’s staff, now has a vulnerable future.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

4 Comments

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  1. Larry Scott is a miserable festering boil on the backside of the PAC-12. The PAC-12 is irrelevant. Top West Coast players are going to schools and conferences where they play on Saturday in prime time and don’t play on Thursday nights. He stated he wanted more parity in the conference – well he got it. Every team is mediocre and gets their butt kicked every time they play another Power 5 team. However, the PAC-12 presidents are just as guilty as they have not held this feckless, sorry excuse for a commissioner to any standards of performance whatsoever. Sorry if I sugar coated this too much.

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