The Pac-12 has a lot working against it in terms of exposure for its athletic programs. Its network reaches only 20 million homes and isn’t available on DirecTV, its games start late at night, and its teams fail to crack the top of the rankings. And as if that wasn’t enough, the conference is apparently losing exposure from its lack of a content-sharing agreement with CBS Sports Network.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, CBS Sports Network analyst and former Pac-12 coach Rick Neuheisel said on his radio show last week that he cannot talk in depth about Pac-12 stars, such as Arizona’s Khalil Tate, because his network does not have access to highlights of games that aired on Pac-12 Networks.
Neuheisel explained that he wanted to promote Tate and show highlights from recent games but was told by “the brass” that Tate highlights were a non-starter because of the lack of a content-sharing plan with the Pac12Nets.
So the show aborted the plan to promote Tate and went in another direction.
All three of Tate’s games thus far have been on the Pac-12 Networks.
“Tate is out,” Neuheisel said. “If you’re watching our show, you don’t know who Khalil Tate is.”
The Pac-12 Network reportedly has content-sharing agreements with Fox and ESPN, allowing those networks to air as many highlights as they wish, but have been unable to come to an agreement with CBS.
Obviously, CBS has not offered terms the Pac-12 Network has found agreeable, but given the conference’s broader problems, you’d think network executives might have relented by now. CBS Sports Network does not need to talk about the Pac-12 as long as it can talk about the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, and ACC, but the Pac-12 needs to be talked about as much as it can be. Conference coaches and administrators complain about lack of exposure, and stuff like this sure doesn’t help.
Being unable to talk about the Pac-12 at length is probably painful for Neuheisel, who coached at three different schools in the conference (Colorado, Washington, UCLA) and has more expertise there than anywhere else. But it’s even more painful for a conference that could use a little help and keeps running into roadblocks.