Some schools are receiving annual payouts from the networks that are a fraction of what they’d hoped for — and a fraction of what has been reported in the media — when the real cost of the content is included in the calculation.
Midway through their seventh year, the Pac-12 Networks aren’t merely stagnating. They’re shrinking in reach and drastically underperforming revenue expectations, according to information obtained by the Hotline that sheds unprecedented light on the financial realities of the conference’s wholly-owned media company.
Some schools, for example, are receiving annual payouts from the networks that are a fraction of what they’d hoped for — and a fraction of what has been reported in the media — when the real cost of the content is included in the calculation.
“That’s crazy hard to do without spending a lot of money on a lot of programming with low value.”
While frustrated with the lack of revenue, coaches and athletic department officials told the Hotline that the limited reach of the networks is at least as damaging to the football and men’s basketball products.
“We’ve got to get eyes on the product,’’ Washington State coach Mike Leach said. “It’s about exposure and money, and you don’t have one without the other.’’
On a relative basis, the Pac-12 Networks don’t have much of either.
Launched in August 2012, the networks have reached a point in their life cycle, according to industry analysts, when they should be growing incrementally or holding steady. Instead, they’re losing audience.
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