500 Live Events? Pac-12 Networks Got This
The crew that is responsible for putting on the UCLA-Oregon baseball game Saturday night likely will handle the broadcast just like the crews have done for the first 499 live events that have aired on the Pac-12 Networks.
Simply put, they will say “We got this.”
The showdown at PK Park in Eugene, Oregon will be the 500th live event put on by the networks since they launched in August. The Pac-12 Networks have aired a plethora of sports in different venues with different circumstances, and everyone involved has done so with a calm and collected nature needed for a start-up set of networks embarking into unchartered waters.
“I do not want to in any way jinx us, but it has gone amazingly well,” Pac-12 Networks General Manager Lydia Murphy-Stephans said. “It’s been an amazing ride. Honestly, if you would have asked me on Aug. 15 how we would get to 500, I would have told you it’s going to be a rough ride. But knock on wood, it’s been smooth sailing.”
The networks launched on Aug. 15, 2012 and put on their first live event two days later when Santa Clara visited Stanford in women’s soccer. Since then, the Pac-12 Networks have broadcast 150 men’s basketball games, 35 football games, 82 women’s volleyball matches, 61 women’s basketball games, 35 softball games (and counting) and much, much more.
With an ambitious timeline to launch, the networks started airing live events despite the fact not all the technology and infrastructure they needed was in place. Those enhancements are still coming, but it hasn’t affected the quality of the broadcast or the level of work put on by the networks’ employees.
“Our staff always just says, ‘We got it. We’re good.’” Murphy-Stephans said. “Nobody has a doomsday personality. They handle whatever we throw at them. I’m so proud of what everybody has accomplished. The camaraderie and environment is amazing.”
There are no plans for a big celebration to mark the 500th broadcast, although it will be promoted throughout the day on the networks (there are three spring football games and a softball game airing before the UCLA-Oregon baseball game). While 500 is a nice, round number, the real benchmark will come on May 26 when the Pac-12 Networks wraps ups their broadcasts of live events for the athletic year with four baseball games.
That will put the total number of live events at 550 from August to May.
“Our goal this year is 550 live events,” Murphy-Stephans said. “Until we get 550 live events successfully produced, we’re not done. It wasn’t until programming let us know that Saturday is the 500th event that we even knew about it. There is no celebration planned internally. It’s not the milestone that people outside the networks think it would be. We’re proud of it, but not making a big deal of it. When we get to May 26, then it will be cause for a big celebration.”