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Pac-12 & NBC combined

NBC and the Pac-12 Desperately Need To Hook Up

The near nuclear arms race to build up conferences last summer has lead to a surprise rom-com sequel: a race to hook up with the richest TV networks. The University of Texas (signing with ESPN) and the Big 12 (FOX) conference took the first oaths this spring. However, the final remaining conference, the revamped Pac-12, has the opportunity to make the savvier and most influential move.

Reports stated last week that NBC Universal has joined talks, along with FOX, ESPN and Turner, to land a monumental deal with the Pac-12 conference for rights to air football, basketball and other collegiate sports. Comcast, NBC Universal’s latest parent company, wants to leverage sports (in this case, college football) to help their struggling network and continue their challenge to ESPN.

To accomplish this, the “I just got this new body” Pac-12 needs to slut itself up, take fallen royalty NBC to Vegas on a wild 24-hour bender and make the Peacock wake up the next morning with the nastiest hangover and a freshly inked nuptial. (annulment not authorized)

In “business” terms, the conference wants an exclusive and resourceful media partner to showcase its quality and entertaining brand of football and NBC would love nothing more than to flaunt a rising football conference as it attempts its own resurgence. This mutual lovefest will, in turn, reward and alleviate fans by making Pac-12 games easier find to find and watch (something the conference failed fantastically in the last TV deal).

(We strongly support this move, as it will unclog the already jumbled regional messes on ESPN and Fox Sports. The Board generally leans towards the SEC but if it benefits the entirety of college football, then huzzah!)

Unfortunately, NBC holds the key. The 4th place broadcast network has been making flop-tastic missteps since its 90’s Golden Age and desperately needs to be injected with some life.

And one of the first steps to do so is to acquire a quality sports slate, and it’s no surprise that NBC’s current lineup of major sports is struggling against the broadcast competitors:

  • Sunday Night NFL (minimal NFL coverage when it lost rights in 90’s)
  • Olympics (good for 2 weeks every 2 years)
  • NHL (the least popular of the major sports in terms of interest & ratings)
  • Notre Dame football (only relevant if the team is relevant, and it hasn’t been for the last four seasons)

NBC’s sports jewel is Sunday Night Football, and even though it’s a ratings giant, it can’t compete with the other networks’ collection of NBA, NFL, college football and basketball deals.

Marketing 101 would say that, by adding an exciting and popular sports platform, NBC could promote their shows to a large audience that could jump-start sagging ratings (developing quality shows other than its Thursday night line up is a completely different matter… again, baby steps for NBC).

Alas, NBC hasn’t really excelled in marketing and the $2.2 billion, ten year deal that the Pac-12 is asking for may be too high. However, with other suitors swarming around the last conference belle, imagining those fall football Saturdays with swarming audience for 14 weeks during fall sweeps may be too good for NBC to pass up. If they do, there’s always hockey**.

Our other recommendations to sweeten the deal:

  • Use sister cable USA network, in addition to Comcast’s stale sports net Versus, for football and other sports (honestly, we wouldn’t even use Versus, but Comcast is stubborn about its wittle sports channel)
  • Have weeknight game that mirror’s ESPN’s successful Thursday night game (on a sister cable)
  • Digital streaming digital content, digital, digital, digital

*NBC has exclusive home game rights to Notre Dame but they’ll be shoved to the side if the Pac-12 drops in. Haha… Notre Dame

**Comcast/ NBCUniversal just inked a deal for MORE hockey… yeeeeeeeeeeah!

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9 Comments on “NBC and the Pac-12 Desperately Need To Hook Up”

  1. Mac B from Tennessee April 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Dick Ebersol has turned NBC sports into a giant and then GE had him turn it into a joke. If you look at how sports have grown Fox & CBS it’s not hard to conclude that part of NBC’s decline since the late 90s was it’s entry into the niche sports. GE/NBC didn’t believe in using sports as a loss leader to launch & promote their own shows. As a result NBC sports made money but off a very thin viewership. Now that Comcast is running the show, I’d expect they understand how to use their sports platform and 2.2 Billion shouldn’t be an unreasonable starting point for negotiations. I’d also point out that Notre Dame plays most of their NBC games at home which are always day games, this would allow for an easy fit with Pac-12 Football. It would also give Ebersol the mother of all hype fests in the run up to the annual Notre Dame / USC tilt.

    • ecuamerican April 21, 2011 at 12:29 am #

      Meant to write in Fox’s precedent of eventual success by beginning to garner quality sports acquisitions, which NBC has to seriously look it. I believe Comcast does have that foresight as evidenced by the new NHL agreement, but it can’t stop there. The hurdle will be that hefty price tag and I just read a rumor that the Pac-12 has been asking Fox for $300M/ year. Yikes.

  2. OS_Beaver April 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    I see a 10 year 2.5 billion deal coming with NBC/Comcast. 240 million a year is for the teams which means 20 million per team annually like Scott wants. The final part would be getting the PAC-12 network up and running in stunning HD. Fox also can put in a great bid and needs the LA market but if NBC/Comcast plays their cards right they could be a perfect partner with Scott since they want to transform their image and Scott is savviest of all the commishioners when it comes to bold ideas and marketing. With games on NBC across the nation after ND football and when Versus gets its new name (NBC Sports Net?), coupled with some games on USA maybe and the ones already signed with FX, we would have ideal national exposure that will allow Scott to continue to transform the PAC-12 into the greatest academic and athletic conference in America with a very high national and global profile. His ideas for the CCG will prove highly successful and most years I see our PAC-12 champion earning an invite to the national championship. Scott is going to be around for quite some time and where he will have us in another 10 years, with the premier superconference of the PAC-16 ushering in the greastest popularity ever for the sport, and which will win more national titles than the SEC or any other conference, is just outstanding!

    • ecuamerican April 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      Can’t agree that Larry Scott is the best commissioner out there as we give the nod to Mike Slive. Not because the SEC has won so many championships, but because he has made savvy deals like with ESPN, sharing the wealth and restructuring the conference and cleaning up programs (though that hard work fell to shit last year. Thanks, Auburn and Kiffin). That said, Scott has been scorching the earth with great move after great move since he’s taken over. Definitely leaped over the dopes from the Big 12 (10) and the Big 10 (12). And we are willing to offer sacrifices in order for NBC/ Comcast win this derby over Fox.

    • alchemist April 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

      You’re holding out hope for that dead Pac 16 nonsense here, too? Please stop. You’re making the rest of us Pac 12 fans look uninformed and/or silly.

      • ecuamerican April 28, 2011 at 12:03 am #

        I decided to ignore that bit. We’ll let it go as “overenthusiastic wishful thinking during the offseason”

  3. Nollie July 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    loool!! this is an awesome idea!🙂

  4. Angelika July 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    this blog should someone print out and put on every car in paris

  5. Fleas August 28, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    lool…. that is an awesome idea!😦

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