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How 850 Live Events Became a Rallying Cry and a Mark of Success at the Pac-12 Networks

24/05/2018

How 850 Live Events Became a Rallying Cry and a Mark of Success at the Pac-12 Networks Wrapping its sixth year, the network puts the finishing touches on its latest live campaign this weekend By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 3:44 pm

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There are numerical feats so extraordinary that it can be easy to take them for granted.

Much like Lebron James putting up 45 points a night in the playoffs, the Pac-12 Networks produces a staggering 850 live sporting events per year and, somehow, it's become spectacularly normal for them to do so.

This weekend, P12N puts the finishing touches on another impressive campaign its sixth in network history that will see them, again, hit the 850 mark during the final baseball weekend of the season.

850 is still seen as a massive amount of live event production volume, says Will O'Toole, Senior Coordinating Producer at Pac-12 Networks. All of the different departments that have to touch, not only the 850 live events but 30+ different sports, it really feels like a growing a sense of accomplishment as hitting that number gets closer.

When you consider, as Kyle Reischling, VP of Remote Events for Pac-12 Networks pointed out, those events all happen within a nine-month window, the accomplishment becomes even more impressive. Plus, P12N is by no means coasting to the end of this proverbial marathon. They are in a dead sprint through the finish line.

More than 250 of the total 850 live events come during spring championship season and features some of the heaviest weekend programming slates that the Networks seens in the entire year. One week earlier this month saw the network produce 39 total productions with 36 of those occurring over a four-day period. The diversity in the events is also notable as nine different sports were covered, including six conference championship events.

I am proud of our commitment to women's athletics and the effort we put into sports that normally don't get a lot of attention is as high as it can be, says Larry Meyers, an industry vet who just came on in Narch at P12N's new EVP, Content. I think its exceptional the breadth of our commitment to student athletes, the programs, and diversity across gender and individual lines.

More than half of the 850 events produced by P12N are women's events and Meyers noted that both beach volleyball and gymnastics have been major ratings winners for the company.

Much of how the Pac-12 Networks accomplishes this feat technologicall has been chronicled. It's commitment to at-home production is second-to-none in its scope across the industry and it's no secret that 850 events wouldn't be possible without the network established across the 12 schools in the conference's footprint.

This year did see a big change to that network, however, as P12N worked directly with Internet 2 (I2) to establish its own 10-gig network across the entire conference map, breaking itself free from the university and research-based network that it had leveraged since launch. Accordin to Senior Remote Technology Manager Bjorn Estlund, the new 10gig network has also opened up 10gig pops as essentially every Pac-12 venue and also opened up the network for better connectivity at other venues including Levi's Stadium [P12N was able to host an at-home pre and postgame show from the conference's football title game there], T-Moblie Arena in Las Vegas [home to the conference's men's basketball championship, and KeyArena in Seattle [home to the women's basketball conference championship].

It gives us a more robust and more reliable transmission path [to work with], says Estlund.

The connectivity between the 12 campuses is perhaps the main factor that Meyers feels separates Pac-12 Networks from the sports media pack, and its a symbol for the connected relationship between the conference and the schools that Meyers to improve under his tenure.

What's unique to a college conference network when compared to other sports networks is the way in which we are connected to our venues, says Meyers. The more you talk about at-home and automated workflows, connectivity comes up over and over as the most challenging link in the chain. Being connected the way we are to the schools makes a huge difference.
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2018/05/24/how-850-live-events-became-a-ra...
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