Pac-12 Networks is preparing to play NFL Red Zone with the tipoff of the conference’s men’s basketball season.
Billing the lineup as Full Court Friday, the programmer on Nov. 14 will present 10 basketball games – only USC and Washington State are not playing that day -- over six hours, including five in the same window as the conference opens its 2014-15 hoops campaign. Pac-12 Networks will also open access to the games via streaming on its website, http://pac-12.com/networks.
The game schedule begins at 5 p.m. (PT) with No. 2 Arizona hosting Mount Saint Mary’s playing on the national service, as well as five of its six regionals, save for Drexel-Colorado on Pac-12 Mountain.
The 7 p.m. window will feature Ashley Adamson hosting a wraparound presentation a la NFL Red Zone on the main channel, with the five games scheduled specifically across the varied regionals. Another stream will feature the studio, pre- and postgame coverage, putting seven feeds into play during this time period. A tripleheader at 9 p.m. will serve as the nightcap.
Although Pac-12 Networks has presented 10 events in a day before, the time frame has never been so tight. “We’ve been planning this for months,” said Leon Schweir, senior vice president of production. “With this many contests we had to make decisions about resources and if there were enough vendor trucks to produce the games on-site.
To that end, the Rice-Oregon game will be produced and directed from the programmer’s technical operations center in San Francisco. All told, Schweir said Pac-12 Networks is marshalling some 400 people, including talent in The City and at the various game sites.
If it all works out, Leon envisions this could become the tipoff template.
“In the past, a school looked to a date that would draw attention to its own team. But working together, we may be able to make a bigger splash and create more awareness as a league than as individual teams,” said Schweir, noting one way to gauge the response will come from the free streaming access the programmer is making available at Pac12.com/networks.
Full Court Friday also serves as a calling card for potential subscribers. “There are a lot of Pac-12 fans and alumni outside the [conference] footprint. This basketball showcase may encourage those who have access to Pac-12 Networks to switch providers,” he said.