On board as Pac-12 Commissioner since 2009, Larry Scott has proved to be a competent administrator and a visionary who continually thinks outside the box on college football, an entity not known for fast, visionary moves.
I thought adding Utah and Colorado was a brave step in upsetting the apple cart, but the expansion was nothing compared to the impact this TV network will have.
Credit Scott with bold ideas, relationship building and deal making to bring this off.
The cable operators are players in this adventure, too. Signed up so far are the country's four biggest cable companies: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House.
These distribution deals apply to the Pac-12's geographic footprint.
According to SI.com, in Pac-12 states the national and/or appropriate regional network will be available on basic cable from day one. The national network will be available on those companies digital sports tiers in other parts of the country.
Satellite distribution on operators like DirecTV and Dish and telephone companies have not been announced, although the conference has said that they are working on it.
From day one, the Pac-12 TV Networks will be available to 40 million homes across the country—many more potential viewers than other TV deals like the Big 10 and Longhorn networks, for example.
And, the Pac-12 retains full ownership of the networks, unlike the ESPN and FOX deals.
Hired last fall to run the overall venture that has been named Pac-12 Enterprises, president Gary Stevenson is a major player and will be the "buck-stops-here" guy regarding the ultimate success of the start-up. Stevenson helped launch the highly successful Golf Channel in the mid-'90s.
Clearly, Scott knew something about licensing, TV negotiations, hiring and branding. Really, it's quite surprising that the Pac-12 college presidents had the cojones to hire this guy. All of us who love the Pac-12 should be very grateful that they did.