Interview: Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott Chats About Directv, Night Games and Android


July 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott speaks to the media at PAC-12 Media Day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott is pretty busy these days, but he recently had a chance to answer questions for The Seattle Times in a Live Chat with Bob Wickwire. Below is some of the conversation that pertains to Oregon Duck Fans. The answers to such questions as ‘When Will we see DirecTV and Pac 12 Come to an Agreement’ and ‘Why so many night games’ yielded the same answers he gave last year. There is some light at the end of the tunnel for mobile device users – an Android version of the Pac 12 App is coming soon:

When is the TV deal with direct TV going to get done? What are the hold ups and how can fans apply pressure?

"I can’t predict exactly when we will have a deal but the Pac-12 Networks is ready to make an agreement with DirecTV as soon as possible. We have made an offer to DirecTV that is a serious, fair and good value. Our offer to them is consistent with the terms we have already agreed to over 50 different cable and satellite providers, including four of the five largest in the country. DirecTV is digging in their heels and trying to impose standards on us they don’t impose on others like the Big Ten Network and other regional sports networks. Fans can help letting DirecTV know how badly they want and applying pressure. At the moment DirecTV is telling us they are not feeling enough pressure or loss of customers to warrant taking the Pac-12 Network, which is a bit difficult to explain given that we have 55 other very happy distributors and our fans who get the Pac-12 Network absolutely love it."

By having so many football games at night, is the Pac-12 trying to make football into a TV event rather than an in person event? It seems like they would rather have us watch the games on TV.

"That is not our objecctive. There is a very delicate balance that we try to strike and we realize first and foremost you rely on the in-game attendance experience and atmosphere that fans attending the games create. But perhaps the most important strategic imperative for me has been to improve our television situation and I made a commitment to get every football game on TV and available for a national audience, hence the agreements with ESPN and FOX, hence the ceation of the Pac-12 Networks. But it required more flexibility in terms of our start times so that we can get national clearance for all of these games. I realize this has been an adjustment for our programs and for fans but we try to be as sensitive and mindful as we can about the experience for attendees."

Finally Scott talks about technology and the mobile device applications that are available to watch the Pac 12 Network Live.

"The only way fans can access live events via mobile technology (I-pads, I-phones, other devices) is if they are a subscriber to a distribution service that carries the Pac-12 Network on TV. This was a critical part of the deals we were able to do with Comcast, TimeWarner, DISH and others. This is exactly the same business model as ESPN — if you want access to their games via an app on mobile devices you have to prove that you are a subscriber. This is the save of the future for premium sports events. We do offer non-live highlights and other content, whether you are a subscriber or not. But as it pertains to live events you only get mobile access if you get the television network."

Scott says Android users should see an app coming their way soon.

"We accomplished a pretty significant and ambitious feat in launching television networks and mobile apps simultaneously last August. In terms of managing our own resources and priorities we’ve had to stagger the roll-out of Pac-12 Now/live event streaming one device and system at a time. So currently it’s available via iPhone and iPad but I understand Android is next and you should see some news about this in the coming months."

Here is the full Seattle Times Chat with Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott

Oregon Ducks This Week:

Oregon Basketball: Loyd Breaks Out, Ducks Beat Stanford 77-66, Altman Earns 600th WinOregon Ducks At A Glance: Softball And Track And Field On A Roll, Women’s Basketball Struggles

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Justin Phillips is Sports Reporter for Newsradio 1120 KPNW in Eugene, Oregon