* The Pac-12 Hotline e-newsletter is revealed every Monday-Wednesday-Friday throughout the school sports activities season (and twice-a-week in the summertime). This version, from Feb. 15, has been made out there in archived kind …
(And right here’s why)
The mid-week publication of the Hotline’s deep dive into the Pac-12 Networks resulted in a packed in-box, jammed Twitter feed and 7 radio hits on Thursday alone.
Again and again, whatever the platform, the identical three, interconnected questions surfaced:
What are the choices?
Is there any method out?
OK, that is despair; so what’s subsequent?
In brief: There aren’t any choices — at the least no game-changing choices for the Pac-12 Networks — due to current contracts.
Right here’s an try and reply the questions:
• Might the convention promote fairness within the Pac-12 Networks to create a construction much like what the Large Ten has with Fox?
Certain, however that may require an unfathomable about-face from commissioner Larry Scott and the presidents/chancellors, who’ve banked every part on the long-term advantages of getting full ownerrship of the networks.
It will, basically, render the sacrifices of the previous six years an entire waste and undercut potential income alternatives sooner or later.
• Might the convention strike a cope with DirecTV?
Certain, however that may require:
1) A willingness on AT&T’s half to return to the negotiating desk after dropping its sponsorship and carriage (U-verse) partnerships with the convention final 12 months, and
2) The Pac-12 accepting a decrease subscription worth for DirecTV.
Simply do it, you say — simply do no matter it takes to get on DTV. Right here’s the issue: Providing a decrease sub price to DirecTV would contractually obligate Pac-12 to decrease its subscription worth for all of its companions, devastating the enterprise mannequin and sparking steep fall into the purple for the faculties.
• Why not make the Pac-12 Networks out there for $5 or $10 a month on a Direct-To-Shopper foundation by, as an example, Roku?
I’ll step apart and let networks president Mark Shuken reply that one:
“We’re obligated to not do (DTC) based mostly on our distribution offers,” Shuken instructed the Hotline final spring. “As a result of the mannequin wants to stay the identical to guard our different distributors — the mannequin beneath which the distributor pays us based mostly on the subscriber — going direct-to-consumer on an a la carte foundation just isn’t one thing we’re in a position to do proper now. We’d be undercutting present distributors.”
• So are there any choices for the networks earlier than the following cycle of media rights in 2024?
None that I can see, aside from on the margins (a streaming deal with Hulu, for instance).
• So the convention is caught?
The Pac-12 Networks are caught, however the convention isn’t caught. And it’s exploring the one possibility out there: Create a holding firm for its media rights (the content material at the moment on ESPN, Fox and the Pac12Nets) and promote a portion of that firm to an investor in alternate for up-front money.
It’s a inventive method, the one method to generate vital money earlier than 2024 with out having to promote fairness within the Pac-12 Networks themselves. The holding firm would retain the entire media rights for the 2024 negotiating cycle to create most worth.
There’s no assure the faculties will finally comply with promote fairness, or that the popular strategic associate will probably be motivated on the proper worth. But it surely’s good to discover each possibility given the predicament with the Pac-12 Networks. — Jon Wilner
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• The primary version of the 2019 QBCQ was revealed Thursday. Should you’re unfamiliar with the periodic Hotline sequence, the Quarterback Consolation Quotient examines the depth chart on the place for every staff. It’s not merely a rating of the starters; backups are accounted for, as nicely. Since you by no means know.
• Earlier editions of the e-newsletter can be found in archived kind utilizing the next hashtag:
Why we want your help: Like so many different suppliers of native journalism throughout the nation, the Hotline’s father or mother web site, mercurynews.com, not too long ago moved to a subscription mannequin. Just a few Hotline tales will stay free every month (as will this article), however for entry to all content material, you’ll have to subscribe at a fee of simply 12 cents per day for 12 months. And thanks in your loyalty.
(Notice: The Hotline e-newsletter contains hyperlinks to websites that would require a subscription as soon as the variety of free views has been reached.)
• We’ll begin with two vital items of reports from Eugene, the place the Geese have parted methods with defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt (for a paltry $2.5 million). What’s subsequent for coach Mario Cristobal? Probably an addition to his offensive workers. In the meantime, the Geese have added a serious goal for quarterback Justin Herbert: Juwan Johnson, a high-level receiver for Penn State, is transferring to Oregon.
• Arizona State’s Aashari Crosswell, one of the promising younger defensive backs within the convention, is studying the Tillman place to extend his versatility. (Of all of the nicknames given to all of the hybrid defensive positions in all of the FBS, ‘Tillman’ is one of the best. By far.)
• A take a look at Washington’s recruiting class — one of the best of the Chris Petersen period — damaged down by classes, from largest sleeper to highest drama and extra.
• No. 1 on this Sizzling Seat listing for 2019? USC coach Clay Helton, after all. Writes CBS Sports activities’ Tom Fornelli: “Helton’s time at USC jogs my memory quite a lot of the Jim McElwain Period at Florida. The Gators gained 19 video games in Mac’s first two seasons, in addition to two division titles, however they by no means seemed like a staff that was the identical stage because the elite packages of the nation.”
• Athlon’s broke down the 2019 rosters throughout the convention, with an eye fixed to recruiting rankings.
• Oregon State has set its dates for spring follow. So has Washington State. (The Hotline is compiling all of the spring begin/end dates and can publish them subsequent week, by the way in which.)
• Pac-12’s optics had been unhealthy and are deteriorating, writes the Seattle Instances’ Matt Calkins: “Gaffes corresponding to which might be usually what you’d anticipate from Michael Scott, not Larry.”
• Vital information from the NCAA, which is “reviewing” the switch portal pointers. Freedom of motion is nice, however the system wants a couple of tweaks.
Choose males’s basketball video games included (all instances Pacific).
Feb. 16: Washington at WSU (5 p.m./ESPNU)
Feb. 16: ASU at Utah (7 p.m./FS1)
Feb. 26: Begin of NFL Scouting Mix (NFL Community)
March 13-16: Pac-12 event (Las Vegas)
March 17: Choice Sunday
• Entertaining and insightful learn from Rivals’ dynamic duo of Mike Farrell and Adam Gorney, who provide up their “Pac-12 superlatives” from the category of ’19. Classes embrace highest ceiling, future No. 1 choose, Mr. Versatility and Mr. Sandman. Let’s simply say two Pacific Northwest colleges are nicely represented.
• We might describe it mathematically: 5 x 5 x 25: 5 Pac-12 packages have, over the previous 5 years, averaged top-25 recruiting courses. Right here’s the complete listing of 25, courtesy of CBS Sports activities’ Chip Patterson, who notes that the Geese and Huskies are trending up.
• UCLA obtained a $15 million reward from donor Mo Ostin that will probably be used to construct an on-campus tutorial heart for athletes. The Bruins nonetheless want $20 million to finish funding for the undertaking. Ostin, in the event you’re unfamiliar with the identify, was largely accountable for financing the Bruins’ recently-completed basketball facility.
• Not solely did Colorado coach Tad Boyle obtain an additional 12 months on his contract, he acquired a bump in base pay to $1.eight million. At that stage, his compensation is the same as that of Washington’s Mike Hopkins — at the least for now. (Hopkins appears in line for a elevate.) In the meantime, the CU regents accredited multi-year offers for the brand new soccer assistants.
• UCLA “is concentrating on Tony Bennett,” in response to school basketball insider Adam Zagoria. (The Hotline made the case for Bennett six weeks in the past.)
• Dana Altman needs to schedule extra non-conference home-and-homes sequence towards Energy 5 opponents. It’s not as simple because it appears, as a result of most packages keep away from true street video games in favor of neutral-court dates.
• Six consecutive losses for Arizona? Six consecutive losses for Arizona!
• That was solely Utah’s second win over Arizona within the Pac-12 period? That was solely Utah’s second win over Arizona within the Pac-12 period!
• The Pac-12 is a two-bid league, barely, within the newest projections from CBS’ Jerry Palm.
A bit dedicated to content material on Pac-12 Olympic sports activities.
• Oregon State’s baseball staff begins its nationwide title protection with a shock. Sorry, not with a shock. In Shock.
• Will the cancelled basketball recreation at Washington affect Arizona State’s postseason? It’s one thing to observe.
• Greater than 20,000 followers are anticipated to observe the ladies’s model of the Civil Struggle over the vacation weekend.
• Good overview of the stretch run ‘stakes’ for all 12 groups, from Pac-12 analyst Michelle Smith.
• So very Cal: A lawsuit has been filed by native residents to cease development of a seashore volleyball complicated.
What’s approaching the Pac-12 Hotline:
• Our commonplace weekend lineup is deliberate (regardless of the vacation), with ‘Saturday Night time 5’, my AP poll and Brian Bennett’s weekly column.
• Tentatively scheduled for subsequent week: The Hotline’s spring follow information, a brand new podcast, extra protection of convention affairs.
The subsequent e-newsletter is scheduled for Monday. Prefer it? Please ahead this e mail to mates (enroll right here). Should you don’t, or produce other suggestions, let me know: [email protected]
*** Comply with me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline
*** Pac-12 Hotline just isn’t endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Convention, and the views expressed herein don’t essentially mirror the views of the Convention.