Pac-12 announces results of pilot program to shorten length of football games
SAN FRANCISCO – On the eve of the Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game, the Conference today announced the results of its pilot program to shorten the length of football games. Designed to make football games more enjoyable for fans watching on-air, online and in-stadium, the innovative initiative was conducted earlier this season across the 15 non-Conference games aired on Pac-12 Networks.
The game-shortening elements were comprised of shortened half-times from 20 minutes to 15 minutes, and restructured commercial formats including reduced commercial breaks and enhanced in-game advertising (saving up to six minutes per game). Additionally, Pac-12 Networks broadcasts moved the kickoff for select games from :07 to :01 after the start of the broadcast window.
As not all elements were implemented in any single game, the test was intended to shorten game times by up to seven minutes in total and broadcast window times by up to 13 minutes in total.
Key results of the pilot program (comparing non-Conference games airing on Pac-12 Networks in 2017 vs. 2016) included:
Game length was reduced on average from 3:19 to 3:14, with 33% more games (eight vs. six games) lasting less than 3:14
Game broadcast windows were reduced on average from 3:28 to 3:20, resulting in less games being joined in progress in back-to-back game situations
“We are always looking at ways to improve the viewing and entertainment experience for our fans, and are fortunate that our Pac-12 Networks model provides us with a lot of flexibility to experiment with this aim in mind,” said Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner. “The initial test had the intended results and overall positive feedback, and we will work with our members to determine how best to continue this program into next year. There has been a lot of interest from other conferences and broadcast partners in our test program, and we will explore whether there is a larger discussion that we can help lead nationally to reduce football game lengths for the benefit of all fans of college football.”
Following additional gathering of administrator, coach, fan and broadcaster feedback, the Pac-12 Conference will discuss next steps in reducing football game lengths at its upcoming meetings in the spring of 2018.
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 Pac-12.com.
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