Pac-12 announces 11 a.m. TV window for football to reduce night kickoffs

The Pac-12 announced Sunday that it will introduce an 11 a.m. PT television window to reduce the number of night games that conference teams play this upcoming football season.

The morning kickoffs will replace an evening time slot on Pac-12 Networks, though exactly how many there are will be determined as the season progresses.

“This is a positive step for Pac-12 fans across the Conference,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “There has been an adjustment over the last two years with our new television agreement, and we believe fans — both in our stadiums and in the television audience — will benefit.”

The change is a move away from Scott’s stance last season, when he repeatedly defended the league’s frequent late starts by deferring to TV numbers. Because the Pac-12 can schedule games after conferences farther east like the SEC and Big Ten, it gets on screen when there is less competition — but also when many East Coasters are often asleep.

“The truth is they rate well,” he said last October. “We get a lot of attention because there’s not a lot that’s going on.”

New deals with FOX and ESPN bumped the Pac-12′s revenue to $334 million in 2012-13, the record for any major conference.

Scott also said in October that he understood the burden late starts placed on campuses and fans, and emphasized the need to spread the load throughout the conference. However, UCLA bore a heavy brunt early on, kicking off four of its first five games at 7 p.m. PT or later.

This latest move will likely still draw mixed reactions. Although an 11 a.m. start would be preferable to some families with children or Pac-12 fans on the east coast (as well as reporters on deadline), others won’t be happy with disrupted tailgates.

The change also doesn’t reduce the number of weeknight games in the conference, which are broadcast on ESPN.

The same press release announced other two other decisions out of the Pac-12′s summer meetings: the conference’s continued push for NCAA reform, including expanding scholarships and changing the ‘one-and-done’ rule in basketball; and a three-year extension of the $3.5 million grant program funding student-athlete health research.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • facescar

    The main downsides in my mind are tailgating and the experience of watching the game.

    Night games build a great atmosphere and it’s comfortable for the fans in the stands. Noon and 11 AM games just get hot.

    It wil be great for TV, however, so I suppose I’m happy with it overall.

    • R PC

      I’ll just have to bring more Bloody Mary mix, perhaps a touch more vodka, definitely more coffee and I’ll change up the menu to steak and eggs, hash browns well done, maybe ham steak Hmmm.

  • Scott

    A positive step would be to put the PAC12 Network on Charter.

  • Chey Tor

    As long as it generates more revenue for the conference, I’m happy. At the end of the day, how much is UCLA getting? The more money we get, the better off our athletics program will be. Combine that Wooden donor dollars, and there’s no reason why UCLA can’t compete for a national championship in every sport every year.

  • ProbationU

    I hope Jack isn’t getting writer’s cramp from all these posts.

  • BruinTax

    Hate it, hate it, hate it… tailgating is half the fun of a college football game! Heaven forbid if its an early kickoff in September and we’re having a heatwave. That is brutal. Late afternoon & night games are awesome. Last year was sheer bliss as far as kickoff times go…. it was fun while it lasted.

    Plus, I don’t understand his “there is nothing going on at that time” statement. There are college games on every channel possible during late morning and early afternoon on Saturdays in SoCal. Larry Scott will defend whatever time pays the most. He’d defend a 3:00am kickoff it it paid enough money.