Pac-12 set to pilot shorter football game length program
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference announced today further details on a test program to improve the viewing experience for fans in stadium and on-air by taking steps to shorten the length of football games. The innovative pilot initiative will be conducted at all non-conference Pac-12 football games on Pac-12 Networks and will feature a combination of shortened half-times, adjusted commercial formats and the moving up of kickoff times, depending on the particular game.
“We are committed to exploring new ways to provide our fans with the most enjoyable and engaging entertainment experience,” said Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pac-12. “The Pac-12 Networks’ unique ownership model provides the conference the flexibility to test new methods in its efforts to produce a better product for Pac-12 fans. We look forward to evaluating the results of this pilot program and discussing with our member universities as a next step following this year’s football season.”
All non-conference football games on Pac-12 Networks this season – up to 15 games in total – willhave reduced break times between the first and second quarters as well as between the third and fourth quarters. Some games will also utilize a condensed break format, reducing up to four additional minutes of break time. In order to shorten halftime, both teams must agree on the proposed reduction from a 20-minute to a 15-minute halftime. At least six non-conference games on Pac-12 Networks will see this shortened halftime, including New Mexico State at Arizona State, Northern Arizona at Arizona, Hawaii at UCLA, Weber State at California, Montana at Washington, Northern Colorado at Colorado, and potentially Nevada at Washington State if this latter game is aired on Pac-12 Networks.
For certain games, Pac-12 Networks will also experiment with “:01 kickoff times”, enabling action to start closer to the listed game time. For example, if a game broadcast were scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m., the game would kick off at 3:01 p.m. instead of a later time, which has been customary in the past.
Following an evaluation of broadcast viewership and attendance habits across the conference, the Pac-12, in consultation with its member coaches and administrators, decided to address the issue of game length via this pilot program.
The Pac-12 will collect feedback from fans and work with the league’s coaches, administrators, and broadcast partners to evaluate the pilot program after the 2017 season, at which time decisions will be made about changes to be implemented in the long term and/or brought to the national level for further discussion.
All of these experimental efforts are meant to shorten game length up to 10 minutes and reduce broadcast windows by up to 15 minutes.
About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 51 of the last 57 years, with 501 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to www.pac-12.com/conference.
About Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks is the innovative TV and multimedia company of the Pac-12 Conference and is the first such company to be wholly owned by 12 universities. Pac-12 Networks incorporates one national and six regional television networks, plus extensive digital content accessible through social media, university websites and Pac-12 Now, its TV Everywhere service. Each year, Pac-12 Networks offers live coverage of 850 sporting events, making it one of the top live sports producers in the country. In addition, Pac-12 Networks creates extensive original programming, provides visibility for marquee football and basketball events as well as traditionally under-served women’s and Olympic sports. Pac-12 Networks also provides training and paid internships for thousands of students of the Pac-12’s member universities, preparing them for careers in media. With headquarters in San Francisco’s SOMA District, Pac-12 Networks draws on the creative, entrepreneurial and technological culture of the Bay Area and nearby Silicon Valley. For more information, go to http://pac-12.com/networks.