Pac-12 Enterprises making waves across sports media and production awards circuit

With its first season in existence producing an impressive number of live events, studio programming and original content coming down the final stretch, the ambitious work of Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12 Digital’s production teams has not gone unnoticed in the sports media world.

In late March, both Sports Business Journal and Cynopsis honored Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12 Digital, respectively, with nominations for their annual end-of-year industry awards. Additionally, the Pac-12 Networks’ one-of-a-kind set look and design has advanced to the semifinal round of Newcast Studios’ ‘Set Madness’ competition, which pits television network sets in a head-to-head online voting competition.

As the go-to source for television creative executives, NewscastStudio offers the latest news, information and trends surrounding the sensory elements of television production, including graphics packages, set design, lighting and music.

After a dominating win over NBA TV in the second round, the Pac-12 Networks moves on to face the set design for CBS This Morning and NBC’s 2012 Summer Olympics coverage set. Pac-12 fans can vote here through Friday, April 5 at 5:00 p.m. PT with the winners being announced Monday, April 8 at 10:00 a.m.

Consisting of salvaged redwood and synthetic foe-granite, the Pac-12 Networks studio design captures the natural landscapes and architecture styles found on the West Coast in every corner. In addition to its sleek style and modern lines, the studio also captures the latest in technology with each monitor on set controlled through a tablet infrastructure, so on-air personalities never need to turn their back to the camera and unlike other television studios that can reach very high temperatures when fully lit, the use of LED lighting makes the space one of the coolest and least power-consuming sets in the world.

Established in 2008 by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily, the Sports Business Awards take time each year to recognize the vision and creativity shown by individuals and organizations across the sports world. This year, the 2013 Sports Business Awards nominees were recognized for their excellence from March 1, 2012 – February 28, 2013.

With its innovative technology and ambitious live event production schedule, Pac-12 Networks joins veteran networks CBS Sports, ESPN, NBC Sports Group and fellow newcomer Time Warner Cable Sports as nominees in the category for "Best in Sports Television."

One of the most distinguishing characteristics that sets Pac-12 Networks apart from the other candidates in the category is the remarkable timeline that Network executives successfully met to get the network launched less than 12 months after being officially announced. In that time, Pac-12 Enterprises offices and studio space were secured and built out from the ground up, more than 170 staff members were hired and the largest private IP network ever devoted to sports was created and activated to support the Networks' airing of more than 550 live events in its inaugural year – another groundbreaking feat.

“While it’s extremely gratifying to look back at what we were able to accomplish in our first year, it’s also truly humbling to be recognized by our colleagues and peers for those milestones,” said Lydia Murphy-Stephans, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the Pac-12 Networks. “Most of all, I'm proud of how our entire staff worked together to secure a successful launch with the distribution of high-end content across our seven networks. From the onset, we embraced new technology, welcomed innovative thinking and created a spirit of collaboration that allowed every staff member to contribute. It doesn't get much better than that."

This year’s total 75 nominees over 15 categories were announced via video by Sports Business Daily/Journal executive editor Abe Madkour and publisher Richard Weiss on their website on March 18. According to Weiss, of the 75 nominees, 45 percent consists of first-time entries.

The winners of the Sports Business Journal/Daily’s 2013 Sports Business Awards will be announced the evening of Wednesday, May 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

Nine days following the Sports Business Daily/Journal announcement, the good news continued for Pac-12 Enterprises as David Aufhauser, Vice President of Pac-12 Digital and his team were named as finalists in two categories for the 2nd Annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. With a readership of more than 47,000 daily subscribers, Cynopsis Sports is a must-read amongst sports media executives and enthusiasts.

Aufhauser joins CSE’s Monty Mullig, NBC Sports Group’s Rick Cordella, NeuLion’s Chris Wagner and Play On! Sports’ David Rudolph in the category of Digital Executive of the Year, while Pac-12 Now -’s TV Everywhere app - is one of six apps in the category of Affiliated App of the Year. Others nominees include: Big Ten Networks’ BTN2Go, the ESPN SportsCenter Feed, NeuLion’s UFC.TV and Turner Sports’ NCAA March Madness Live and Ryder Cup LIVE apps.

While only in its second year, the inaugural Cynopsis Sports Media Awards ceremony also honored the Pac-12 and its advances in sports media by naming Commissioner Larry Scott as its first League Executive of the Year honor for his work in expanding the Conference and creation of Pac-12 Enterprises. This year, Pac-12 Conference Chief Marketing Officer Danette Leighton is also a finalist in the category of Marketer of the Year, joining Allstate Insurance’s Pam Hollander, CSE’s Adam Zimmerman, John Miller of NBC, and Turner Sports’ Craig Barry and Christina Miller.

The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards will be announced at a breakfast Wednesday, April 17 at The Yale Club in New York.

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