Pac 12 - Wilner Hotline series with Larry Scott

John Wilner of the Mercury News announced last week that he’d be doing a series on the current state of the Pac12 after he did an interview with Larry Scott. He released Part 1 today which focuses on the Pac12’s foray into Asia:

In FY15, the Pac-12 spent $726,000 on Asia/Pacific Rim initiatives. That figure has undoubtedly risen in FY16 because of the resources required for Washington’s trip and the costs associated with promoting the Huskies’ basketball game against Texas. (And expected similar costs in FY17, with Stanford playing in China in November.)

Wilner’s also previewing the Pac12 - Today he ranked the OOC schedules for all Pac 12 teams:

Part 2 of the series with Larry Scott:

Scott told me during our discussion — and has said this periodically over the past few years — that the CEOs simply like the idea of owning a media company. (All the better that it has a rising valuation.)

As we’ve seen repeatedly over the years, the presidents and chancellors take a far different view of the landscape than fans and athletic departments. (That doesn’t mean their view is correct, by the way.)

Scott also believes, based on feedback from consultants and discussions with other media companies, that there will be new distribution options for the Pac12Nets in the next 12-to-18 months.

Part 3:

This one seems to be a touchy subject as Wilner presses Scott on the disparaties between the Pac12 and the B1G and Scott mostly dances around the subject by mentioning that the conference is in better shape than it was.

Part 4:

“We have no desire to expand,’’ he said.

That was that regarding the conference’s immediate intentions, but I followed up with a look down the road:

Does he envision another wave of Power Five consolidation when several Tier 1 deals wind down early in the middle of the next decade?

“I don’t think there has to be more conference consolidation,’’ he said. “I like the current construct. We’ll see what the landscape is like when we approach the deals.’’

In past years, the Hotline advised Pac-12 fans to be cautiously optimistic when the season approached and negotiations with DirecTV heated up.

That was, in part, because some of my best sources on such matters were either 1) expecting a carriage deal or 2) felt it was a reasonable possibility.

Not this year.

The sentiment has shifted: Nobody expects a deal and many don’t even consider it a reasonable possibility.

One of the first items on Budill’s to-do list will be to set up a meeting with DirecTV, the satellite operator that has not carried any of the Pac-12 Networks channels since their 2012 launch.

Budill also will focus on international expansion, something that the conference views as a growth opportunity. The channel wants to build off its deal to stream one conference game each week to China. The conference also is looking to build on the annual basketball game it plays in China with possibly more events.

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