The Pac-12 has announced it will launch its own television network, tentatively scheduled to go live in August of 2012, and will be broadcast on four cable operators, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, COX Communications and Bright House Networks, which reaches a combined audience of 48 million.
In addition, the Pac-12 will also launch six regional networks, marking the first time a U.S. collegiate conference, or any other programmer, has launched a collection of networks across a variety of platforms rather than a sole network.
"As we explored the potential for a Pac-12 network, it became clear that we could customize programming towards local interests and provide our students, alumni, and many fans the widest possible range of events with the best opportunity to see the schools they care about most," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Wednesday in making the announcement.
More than 850 sporting events, 350 nationally and 500 regionally, will be broadcast over the cable system. That includes every football game and every men's basketball game that isn't carried by the Pac-12′s other media rights conglomerates, ESPN and FOX
The six regional networks are Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Southern California, Arizona and Mountain. Any fan of a school in the conference will have access to every football and men's basketball game their school offers.
Additional events will include spring football, and every sport played by Pac-12 programs, including all conference championships. Pac- 12 will also be working to launch additional content on broadband.
Over 200 Pac-12 athletes competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. If the conference was its own country, it would have finished sixth in the total medal count.
Programming will extend beyond athletics to other subjects of interest to students, faculty, alumni and fans of the Pac-12 universities.
Distributors such as DirectTV or Dish Network are not on board, though Scott said he hoped to eventually add satellite and telephone companies to the deal.
Pac-12 baseball, softball, tennis, swimming, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field and water polo are among the sports likely to receive a boost from added exposure.