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Should Pac-12 Stream? Yes!

October 9th, 2022 by dk

We’re told that USC and UCLA bolted for the Big Ten because they wanted part of a richer broadcast rights package being negotiated. The windfall for each school looks to be at least $20 million per year and possibly double that.

Pac-12 responded by accelerating negotiations for their next broadcast rights package. Most anticipate an announcement in the next month or two. Apple and Amazon have both been willing to open their checkbooks for a seat at the table. Other streaming services may also have interest.

American soccer fans will have to enter the Apple ecosystem to watch their favorite teams. There will be an app that streams with Apple TV. Some games will be included with Apple TV+. Highlights will be available on the free Apple News app.

Meanwhile, Amazon paid billions for the exclusive broadcast rights for NFL’s Thursday Night Football. Their first broadcast delivered a healthy audience. They also sold more Amazon Prime memberships in those three hours than ever before.

Should the Pac-12 conference entertain offers from streaming services? Should they consider giving them exclusive rights if the price is right? Or is it too soon to deny ESPN and FOX the nighttime inventory that only comes from Pacific Time Zone match-ups?

Answering the last question first, no. “Too soon” applies only when the trajectory is uncertain. Streaming will overtake cable and broadcast television. They want to hasten their conquest.

Don’t forget that FOX had only “The Simpsons” until they added live sports. Cable TV was considered a luxury until ESPN earned it legitimacy. Don’t forget, because the negotiators haven’t forgotten. Pac-12 could instantly become a leader again. To think otherwise is nothing but a failure of imagination.

Broadcast outlets deliver more households right now, but for how much longer? What can streaming services do better than any broadcast outlet? I’ve started a list:

– A memorable play can be turned into an instant meme for social media, including avatars of successful players.

– Click here to buy your favorite player’s jersey right now. Add a little extra to the purchase price and we’ll deposit all the extra and a little more into that player’s NIL account.

– Dr. Pepper’s Fansville commercials (and others) can be digitally altered to show the good guys wearing your team’s colors, based on your account preferences.

– Don’t feel like watching the commercials? You can skip them for 99 cents and get extra analysis from your favorite personalities. Or an instant video game that puts your avatar in the same predicament your team just faced. Can you do better? You have 90 seconds!

– Should they go for it on 4th down? Instant polling can show immediate results. Do all your friends agree? How about all the friends of your friends?

– Show current game and season stats for each player whenever they touch the ball.

– Play-by-play can be made available in any language through crowdsourcing, including sign language.

– Bid on a signed jersey or an NFT from one of your team’s former greats. Fifty percent of proceeds will be given to that player’s favorite charity.

– Put your friends on your screen, watching the game with you, with their sound on or off. It will feel like a Zoom meeting, but an enjoyable one.

– Alexa remembers you ordered a pizza at halftime last game and asks if you want to do that again.

When Pac-12 popularity explodes onto social media, SEC and Big Ten will wish they hadn’t locked themselves into legacy broadcast deals. If the Pac-12 is really shrewd, they will negotiate a 10% commission on all future deals with other conferences in return for proving the concept.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Wednesday and Sunday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at

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