Last week, we told you about University of Washington football Chris Petersen complaining about the Pac-12 scheduling late-night games, making it tough for East Coast viewers to watch. Petersen said he’d rather have his Huskies team play 1 p.m. PT games instead of 7:30 or 7:45 p.m. local starts.

However, the almighty dollar and a partner that pays the Pac-12 conference to schedule those games has the last say. And in the case of ESPN, it’s hitting back.

During Saturday’s Cal-Washington game (which kicked off at 7:45 p.m. PT, by the way), ESPN made sure to let people know who was paying the piper and in this case, even put up a graphic showing that late-night games do well in the ratings and specifically, the Pac-12.

Rarely have we seen a network go out of its way to prove a point, but in this case, ESPN wanted viewers to know that there’s a reason why it and the Pac-12 have scheduled games especially late at night.

First, at that time, most games are over and the Pac-12 has that window for the most part all to itself. Second, ESPN claims that ratings for late night games are higher than other day parts. And third, the conference is getting paid rather handsomely by both ESPN and Fox to schedule games in that window.

Right now, there aren’t going to be any changes in the way the conference schedules its games and Petersen is going to have to bear with the late-night games. Until the next Pac-12 media contract comes around, conference coaches will have to deal with the late-night games and like it.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.