Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott answers Pac-12 Networks' regional content distribution question
LAS VEGAS – Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott fielded the same question at Friday's press conference here that many have been asking on social media platforms this week: Why is Pac-12 Networks showing re-runs instead of live Pac-12 Tournament games on some of its regional networks?
Television providers differ in how they offer the six regional and one national channel that make up Pac-12 Networks, Scott said.
“The issue that's arisen is within our six-state footprint," Scott said. "Up until now many cable companies have been leading with the [local] Pac-12 regional network on the basic service and they've been putting the national network on the sports tier you pay extra for ... which is causing this friction,” Scott said.
The Pac-12 is encouraging its partners to flip the model and provide the national network on basic service. Pac-12 Network is the only channel that's carrying all Pac-12 Networks game broadcasts from this tournament while the six regional networks focus on localized content.
“I know it's complicated. We know it's frustrating for the fans. How each distributor does it is really their decision in their market,” Scott said.
Fans' response to not seeing their games -- measured in thousands of tweets -- demonstrates that interest in the Pac-12 Network is high, and provides fodder for ongoing negotiations, Scott said.
“The nature of this business is we're always sitting down with [providers] and talking about what's working well, what's not working well, are there any changes we could make to benefit our fans,” Scott said. “I suspect a few years from now, we'll be sitting here with a very different scenario in terms of how we're distributing our content.”