Pac-12 bolsters reach with new carriage deals

Pac-12 Networks, the content and multi-platform media company for the Pac-12 US college sports conference, has broadened its reach through new carriage deals with regional pay-television providers Cox Communications and Frontier Communications, and has detailed further social media initiatives.

Frontier will be offering the Pac-12 Network to its subscribers in both Los Angeles and Palm Springs by September 1, in time for the new college football season. FiOS subscribers in Los Angeles will receive Pac-12 Network in high definition on its Preferred tier, while Palm Springs subscribers will get the Network on the Extreme tier.

The deal with Frontier will reportedly provide the conference with nearly 500,000 new subscribers, but it remains in talks with both DirecTV and Charter, the remaining major providers it has yet to strike deals with.

Meanwhile, Cox Communications has agreed to add Pac-12 Network to its Essential tier. This means that subscribers throughout Arizona and key Cox markets in California will be able to see every live event produced and televised by Pac-12 Networks, including 35 American football games, more than 100 conference basketball games and numerous championship and Olympic events.

Subscribers in these markets previously received only their regional Pac-12 sports network – either Pac-12 Arizona or Pac-12 Los Angeles. Cox subscribers will also be able to access all seven Pac-12 Networks through the Pac-12 Now app. These changes will all go into effect by August 2.

Social media platform Twitter last week signed its latest major rights partnership through an agreement with the Pac-12. Under the deal, Twitter will be the premier streaming partner for Pac-12 Plus, a broadband network of live events produced by the conference’s 12 universities, with at least 150 games over the 2016-17 academic year live streamed to fans on Twitter.

The Pac-12 said the final roster of school-produced Olympic events shown on Pac-12 Plus will be determined as the season approaches, but will include Olympic sports such as soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, ice hockey, swimming and diving, softball, track and field, wrestling, lacrosse, tennis and water polo.

The Los Angeles Times newspaper said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott added that from 2016-17, Facebook will provide behind-the-scenes images and game-day content related to its 35 American football broadcasts on the Pac-12 Network. Meanwhile, the conference will combine all its news feeds on YouTube into one platform to provide easier access to fans.