The ACC and Big 12 should be doing certain things to make themselves more attractive to ESPN and other potential television or streaming partners. The Pac-12 has to be doing the same, but the Pac-12 offers television and streaming outlets a different set of attributes and advantages.
So, what should the Pac-12 in fact do, now that we’re seeing the Big Ten line up three different mainstream television outlets?
Reporting from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, confirmed by other sources, indicates that the Big Ten is closing in on a media package in which Fox will be joined by NBC and CBS as television partners. NBC is reportedly going to pay more than CBS, due to getting a deal for a regular Big Ten night game (7:30 in the East, 4:30 in Los Angeles). CBS would get third or fourth choice for a 3:30 (East) Big Ten game.
What this means is that when USC goes to the Big Ten in 2024, the Big Ten will have a featured game on Fox, NBC, and CBS every Saturday. ESPN/ABC will feature the SEC in three different time windows.
The Pac-12, Big 12, and ACC have to find ways of being relevant within that structure when it becomes a regular part of the college football media landscape.
What should the Pac-12 offer? Untraditional time slots.
The Big Ten and SEC will dominate the three traditional game windows (Eastern time): noon, 3:30, and 7:30. The Pac-12 has the late-night window to itself, but what about other games at other times of day? The conference should think about having games in slots which are significantly different from the traditional ones:
1:30 or 2 Eastern for an early game
5 or 5:30 Eastern for a mid-afternoon game
9 or 9:30 Eastern for an evening game
Midnight Eastern for an extra-late game
Offering these time slots, in addition to a game in the traditional 10:30 Eastern window, would diversify the Pac-12’s portfolio and set it apart from the competition. Putting games in the traditional windows would only make those games less visible. This makes ESPN more receptive to the Pac-12 by not directly putting a Pac-12 game up against a featured SEC game. Staggering the time slots makes all the sense in the world. Having a late-late-night game gives ESPN and a streaming service a time window the ACC and Big 12 wouldn’t have.
It’s time for the Pac-12 to think more creatively.
Massive Big Ten media rights development has numerous implications for USC
Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire