Pac-12 Enterprises, the new content and media company of the Pac-12 Conference, and Ooyala, a venture-backed company that provides online video technology products and services, are working together to develop and deploy the Pac-12 Digital Network, the first sports entertainment network built from the ground up for integrated broadcast and broadband entertainment.
Scheduled to launch on August 15, 2012, the Pac-12 Digital Network will offer personalized, interactive and customizable video experiences for the web, tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs. This will enable the conference’s immense and avid fan base to enjoy any Pac-12 sporting event from anywhere in the world on their own schedule.
Subscribers to any of Pac-12’s telecast partners will be able to access all Pac-12 content on connected devices by authenticating their subscription through a TV Everywhere solution enabled by Ooyala. Pac-12 and Ooyala are also developing both paid and ad-supported content models for regions of the world not supported by Pac-12’s telecast partners.
In addition, Ooyala will provide live ad insertion across all connected devices. According to a press release, “Ooyala’s industry-leading analytics were paramount to Pac-12 Enterprises in selecting its partner.”
Pac-12 and Ooyala are also collaborating on a suite of TV applications for iOS and Android tablets as well as smartphones. These applications will provide a rich set of content ranging from live and on-demand sporting events, analysis and commentary, statistics, press conferences, documentaries and other content that extends dramatically beyond the programming available through the telecast.
Pac-12 Networks will produce original studio programming from its San Francisco facilities and televise more than 850 live sporting events annually, including every Conference football game and men’s basketball game that isn’t carried by its national telecast partners. It will also provide unprecedented exposure for women’s sports and Olympic sports where the Pac-12 has had more success than any other Conference in the country. The Pac-12 Networks recently announced that former Pac-12 student-athletes and national sports broadcasting celebrities Ronnie Lott, Rick Neuheisel and Summer Sanders are joining as on air personalities.
I interviewed Kirk Reynolds, the VP of Public Affairs for the Pac-12, about the launch of the Pac-12 Digital Network. My questions and his answers are below.
Greg Jarboe: If only "subscribers to any of Pac-12’s telecast partners will be able to access" this content, how big an audience is that expected to be in August?
Kirk Reynolds: When we announced the creation of the Pac-12 Networks last August, we also announced that we had a partnership with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Brighthouse and Cox, giving us reach to 40 million homes. We are currently in discussions with many other cable, telco, and satellite distributors who are interested in carrying Pac-12 Networks. We will make information on any new distribution deals available as soon as each deal is completed.
GJ: Have you signed up any advertisers yet for this new 24/7 digital sports network?
KR: We are in discussions with many potential advertisers and expect to have some announcements soon.
GJ: Can you provide more details about your original studio programming?
KR: We have a plan to telecast 850 live events so we will be event centric the first year. We will have pregame, halftime and postgame studio shows for every football game and will have live studio programming throughout the basketball season. The rest of the programming grid is still being developed.
GJ: Why has the Pac-12 had more success than any other Conference in the country?
KR: With 450 NCAA titles, the Pac-12 has by far more national championships than any conference in the country and has earned its position as the Conference of Champions. Pac-12 schools have a broad-based commitment to excellence in athletics and academics. We are equally as strong in women’s sports as we are in men’s sports. Stanford is a prime example of that, having won 17 consecutive Director’s Cup trophies as the top athletic program in the country. The 450 Pac-12 championships consist of 305 men’s titles and 145 women’s championships and all 12 Pac-12 institutions have won multiple national championships. We are also the most dominant Olympic sports Conference in the country, with Pac-12 athletes producing 1,092 total medals. In fact, if the Pac-12 was its own country it would rank fourth in total medal count behind only the U.S. (2,549), the former Soviet Union (1,204) and Germany (1,099).
GJ: My parents went to Cal, so how soon will we see something as memorable as "The Play" on the Pac-12 Digital Network?
KR: We will have a host of Classic Games on the Pac-12 Networks and do expect the 1982 Cal-Stanford to be part of that.
For those of you who haven’t seen “Cal Bears Football 82: The Play,” check it out below.