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Pac-12 Network Subscriber Numbers Keep Tanking, Big Changes Could Be Coming

Remember the Pac-12 Conference? The old days when sports fans enjoyed West Coast football? Ahh, those were the days, grandpa. “People can’t watch us on our own networks,’’ a source told The Mercury News this week about the Pac-12 Network as the data starts to come in. It paints a bleak future for a sports network that was supposed to bring the conference in line with the likes of the Big Ten and SEC.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Pac-12 has disappeared from the national landscape. Things are so bad out west that, according to The Mercury News, it’s possible the entire Pac-12 Network could be shut down.

Why? The subscriber numbers just aren’t there. The latest data shows that the network has lost 17% of its subscribers over the past two years and is down to just 14.8 million total subscribers across the seven networks that make up the Pac-12 Network: Pac-12 L.A., Bay Area, Washington, Mountain, Arizona, Oregon and National.

As of 2019, the Pac-12 reported $123 million in revenue with $90 million in expenses. Schools received about $2.8 million, which is much lower than the estimates Larry Scott projected for the schools back in 2012 when he said $5 million to $7 million per school would be a middle-of-the-road revenue year. Through 2019, the conference had yet to send $3 million to schools in a single year.

What’s it all mean? It’s bleak out there for the Pac-12 in the war for TV dollars.

The Big Ten and SEC battle it out to Hoover vac the remaining ESPN & Fox dollars, and all involved wait for the big tech companies to jump in and get a taste of the college sports content game.

Pac-12 whipping boy Larry Scott was sent packing in January, and deservedly so. That’s one positive step in the right direction, but now whomever the school presidents hire to replace Scott will have an incredible task in front of him/her: How do you get a new TV deal with new revenue dollars when there’s little interest in the product the Pac-12 is putting on the field?

There were 99.6 million U.S. pay TV households in 2016 when the Pac-12 last played for a college football national championship. That number was down to 78.2 million in 2020 and is expected to drop to just 60.3 million in 2025.

The Pac-12 knows it has to do something drastic fast. It will likely shutter the conference network, rebuild their brand and hope a national audience will once again care about sports west of the Rocky Mountains.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

10 Comments

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  1. The Pac-Woke is having financial difficulties?
    Ahhhh.
    I live in Nevada most of the year and trying to watch one of their games should count as a “critical race theory” class.
    Non stop BLM propaganda as each university competes to be the most “woke”.
    Even the announcers feel the need to interject politics into every broadcast.
    The PAC-12 network is a lot like ESPN daytime programming.
    They use your interest in sports to lure you to watch and then spend the time lecturing on politics.
    So. Good….go “woke” and broke.

  2. There is only one school that matters in the conference, USC. They should either team up with ND, BYU and others to form a national conference, keeping the three other CA PAC schools on the schedule. Or maybe join the Big12.

    All the shit in the article and other comments are totally true. PAC12 conference and its regions are totally mismanaged, over-woke, and overly populated with immigrant populations that don’t care about college football. Nobody cares about other college sports.

    • As an SC alum I would totally welcome a situation like ND & BYU. I’m still trying to figure out why Colorado and Utah needed to join the PAC-10.

  3. just wait until Fans return to stadiums … some day …
    and i’ll turn on the tv just to hear the boooos for the Woke crap.

    in all leagues. all sports.

    athletes in America are going to find out how pissed we all are and then we stop watching … more importantly we stop paying.

    espn is no longer entertainment and these networks are a joke money grab.

  4. It’s simple really. When you have 5 star West Coast players asking themselves the question, do I want to play in prime time on Saturdays or Thursday night at 10:30 Eastern time in a 35,000 seat half empty Washington State stadium. Let’s see where will will I go to play college football? That has, IMO, directly contributed to the serious lack of talent and quality of football (and basketball) vs the other Power 5 leagues.

    The most incompetent, idiotic commissioner in ALL of sports.

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