The Pac-12 Gets a Fancy New 24/7 Digital Sports Network

Matt KingFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2012

EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 02 : Cornerback Avery Patterson #31 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates winning the Pac-12 Championship against the UCLA Bruins at Autzen Stadium on December 2, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks won the game 49-31 to earn a berth in the Rose Bowl. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

And you thought Pac-12 football was fun to watch before.

The conference announced today that they are partnering together with Ooyala to create an all-encompassing sports viewing experience that's never been attempted before with The Pac-12 Digital Network.

From the press release emailed to B/R:

The Pac-12 Digital Network will offer the most advanced digital sports experience ever, through which the conference’s immense and avid fan base can enjoy any Pac-12 sporting event from anywhere in the world on their own schedule. In addition to offering state-of-the-art digital television broadcasting through Pac-12’s web properties for subscribers of its telecast partners, Pac-12 and Ooyala are collaborating on a suite of TV applications for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones that each individual viewer can customize to create the ultimate personalized content experience, specific to their favorite teams, sports and related content.

These applications will provide a rich set of content ranging from live and on-demand sporting events, analysis and commentary, statistics, press conferences, documentaries and other content that extends dramatically beyond the programming available through the telecast.

As a fan, this makes a lot of sense. I don't just watch games anymore. I'm constantly on Twitter or browsing content online while it happens. So it's a logical next step for the network itself to give you things to do as you watch a game.

You're not going to find a more passionate set of fans than college football fans, so this new kind of approach that they are calling "TV Everywhere" fits them perfectly. No matter where you are or when you are, there will be video and content to consume. And trust me, there's a demand for that.

What I'm most excited about with this new development is what this could possibly mean for the fan experience while you're at the game. Having access to replays when you want them, having stats and commentary at your fingertips; that's something I can get on board with.

The Pac-12 Networks are scheduled to launch in August 2012, and recently announced that former Pac-12 student-athletes and national sports broadcasting celebrities Ronnie Lott, Rick Neuheisel and Summer Sanders are joining as on air personalities and the initial faces of the Pac-12 Networks.

It definitely seems like the Pac-12 is putting some fire power behind this, so I'm extremely optimistic. If nothing else, it's refreshing to see a sports entity take a big leap forward changing with the times and tailoring the experience of watching sports to the new generation.