Pac-12 Survival Guide: Could the lifeboat be hidden in plain sight? – The Mercury News | Region & Cash

Two things have held true for the Pac-12 networks since their inception a decade ago: the business model was dead wrong, but the production quality was fine.

The former has been tirelessly studied (here and elsewhere) and helped set the stage for the conference’s current predicament.

The latter is our topic for today.

The equipment powering the Pac-12’s wholly owned media platforms (both linear and digital) forms the backbone of a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure that has been lauded across the sports media industry and could prove beneficial during the ongoing media rights negotiations that are about to take place Success or failure will decide his future.

“The Pac-12 has everything you could ask for in a production facility and can produce all the games for a lot less than media companies would normally pay,” said a veteran of TV sports production, who asked not to be identified.

In other words: bargain.

For the past 26 days, the Hotline has attempted to outline every possible endgame for the Pac-12, from extinction to survival, so readers are not surprised by any outcome.

We’ve evaluated expansion candidates from the Mountain West, dove into TV ratings, explored potential mergers and partnerships with the Big 12, analyzed presidential leadership (or lack thereof), and detailed the value of Saturday night’s kickoffs.

But we saved the biggest whopper for last: the Pac-12 networks as saviors and ESPN as their suitor.

It’s just this side of the crazy that happens to be the main area for realignment strategy and execution.

Consider this description dated February 22 from Sports Video Group, an industry website:

“Starting in 2012, Pac-12 Networks immediately established itself as a pioneer in remote production techniques. Its pioneering multicam production model was a precursor to the remote production revolution the industry has seen in recent years, and the centralized production model has enabled Pac-12 Networks to deliver thousands of live events from its San Francisco headquarters for a fraction the price of producing costs of traditional production.”

The technology is so advanced that the Pac-12 Networks have produced games for ESPN and Fox at the San Francisco facility, which features eight control rooms and the ability to broadcast five games simultaneously.

The technology saves costs because no production trucks are required at the competition venues. Only the on-air talent and cameramen are needed, whether it’s a gymnastics tournament or a football match.

A transmission box the size of a mini fridge serves as the nerve center for on-site production – there is one on every campus.

Video and audio feeds are sent to San Francisco where the director, producer and graphic designer are based.

The latency is about half a second.

Leave a Comment