The Pac-10 Has Two Long-Term Football Television Agreements

Oct. 17, 2002

Pac-10 Television Agreementsby Duane LindbergPac-10 Conference

The Pac-10 has two long-term football television agreements. The broadcast network contract is with ABC Sports and runs through the 2006 season. The cable network deal is with Fox Sports Net, which also runs through the 2006 season.

The two agreements were negotiated in 1996-97. The two 10-year deals will provide the Pac-10 with excellent regional and national television exposure and a considerable revenue stream.

People often wonder how the Pac-10's televised games are selected. The process usually starts at least a year in advance. The Pac-10 football schedule is thoroughly reviewed by the television partners and potential adjustments are discussed and implemented to maximize television opportunities.

During the course of a season, ABC will televise 14 Pac-10. Fox Sports Net owns the rights to televise 18 Pac-10 games on an annual basis. Starting with the 2002 season, Fox Sports Net will sublicense five or six Pac-10 games per season to Turner Sports, which will air the games on TBS Superstation. When a Pac-10 team plays a non-conference opponent on the road (e.g., Arizona State at San Diego State), the game may be televised as part of the opponent's television package(s). The Arizona State at Nebraska game back on August 24, 2002, was an exempted pre-season contest arranged by an event organizer, who had secured a television agreement with ESPN.

The first required Pac-10 football television selection date prior to the season is May 1, when ABC must pick the games it will televise during the first three weeks of September and other 'selected' contests. The Stanford at Arizona State game on September 28, 2002, fell into this early ABC selection category due to its 12:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time start. Arizona and Arizona State home games in September are played at night unless all parties agree to move the game earlier, which is what occurred with the Stanford at Arizona State game.

Fox Sports Net must select the games it will televise during the first three weeks of September and other 'selected' contests by June 1. Fox Sports Net selected the Arizona State at Arizona game on Friday, November 29, 2002, as its season-ending Pac-10 presentation.

Entering the 2002 season, 13 of the 32 Pac-10 games that will be televised were selected early by ABC Sports, Fox Sports Net and Turner Sports. The other 19 games were scheduled to be picked 12 or six-days prior to the contests, with ABC having first selection. ABC Sports, Fox Sports Net and Turner Sports all want to broadcast the best possible games and will factor in the game results and other elements prior to making their in-season selections. While the institutions and Conference can provide input on the television game selections, the final decision lies with ABC, Fox Sports Net and Turner Sports.

Pac-10 football television selections remain open on November 2, November 9, November 16 and November 23. Arizona State has games scheduled on three of these dates.

Additional Arizona State television opportunities certainly exists in 2002, and would supplement the games already selected to be televised. Updates on Pac-10 football television can be found at www.pac-10.org.

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