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Pac-12 Looking to Expand into China

On the heels of adding two universities to its conference, and securing a $3 billion TV contract, the Pac-12 has turned its attention overseas. The New York Times reports that Larry Scott, the conference’s commissioner, boarded a plane headed for Beijing on Sunday. Yes, Beijing.

Scott has ambitions of playing Pac-12 sporting events in China. All of the professional sports leagues like the NFL and NBA already has business stakes in foreign territories, but a collegiate conference playing games that count in China — not just the exhibitions — would be a first.

Scott has previous experience working with China during his tenure with the Women’s Tennis Association, and he has scheduled meetings with many Chinese officials. His aim is to build ties that will hopefully introduce the skill of Pac-12 sports into the Chinese market. There are also talks of Notre Dame and Stanford playing their scheduled 2013 matchup in China.

Unlike many of the other BCS conferences, the Pac-12 Conference’s location plays into its favor. Of all American universities, the big name schools on the west coast like UCLA and Cal — namely because of academics — already have a strong presence in China. In fact, many of the schools’ independent push for international exposure is what led Scott to Beijing.

Scott is also banking on the fact that collegiate sports in China does not compare to America. Sports in China is all about the Olympics and state sponsorship. While Scott has downplayed the role of money into his expansion aspirations, this business trip is no doubt about branding and renminbi — Chinese currency. Tapping into Chinese wealth cannot be ignored as a motive.

Pac-12 Making the Upgrade with New National and Regional TV Deal

Upgrade today like the Pac-12 and Best Buy will buy it back when you’re ready for the next big thing

Larry Scott continues to impress as the commissioner of the Pac-12. Since taking over as the conference’s commissioner two years ago, the conference has expanded from 10 to 12 teams, flirted with major programs like Texas, and increased its national exposure. Scott already signed a 12-year national TV deal with FOX and ESPN that netted the conference $3 billion. His latest plan to launch a television network can take the conference to the next level.

Scott’s unveiled plans Wednesday to create six regional networks and one national network for the Pac-12. The regional networks will be based on local pairings. For example, there will be an Oregon network for the University of Oregon and Oregon State, and a Washington network for the University of Washington and Washington State. Cable providers Cox, Time Warner, Bright House, and Comcast have already signed on to broadcast the channels. Scott plans to add satellite and phone companies.

The new channels will be available in high definition and they will be owned by the conference. The best part of all? “With this arrangement, every [Pac-12] football game and every men’s basketball game will be available to a national audience on television,” Scott said Wednesday.

When Larry Scott took the conference’s coaches and top football players on a national media tour last year, his mission to expand their reach was clear. Rather than remain on the West Coast with limited exposure, the conference made stops at ESPN’s headquarters and New York City to appeal to a greater audience. With a new TV deal in place that includes a national network and regional networks, you can’t help but feel like the conference is in the hands of a man who knows what he’s doing. Larry Scott is making the upgrade and the Pac-12 is benefiting.

You’ll Need a Stanford Education to Understand the New Pac-12 Video

The Pac-10 has officially expanded to 12 teams after adding Colorado and Utah this offseason. Being admitted to the conference should not be taken lightly; between Stanford, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, and yes friends, I’ll include USC, the Pac-12 has some of the strongest academic institutions in the country. It seems like the people who created the new Pac-12 promotional video wanted to prove that point, because you’ll need your lexicon handy to comprehend it:

Dr. Saturday joked you need a thesaurus handy to understand it. As they pointed out, some of the SAT words from the video include “differentiation,” “preeminent,” “panoramic,” “undeniably prolific,” “procession,” “reillustrate,” “unnerving,” “inexplicable,” “belligerent antithesis,” “avant garde” and “quintessential.” I don’t know who came up with “belligerent antithesis,” but they need to be slapped. Is this a conference of football powers or linguistics majors?

Video via Dr. Saturday and Deadspin

Pac-12 Faces Battle With Tupac Fan Over Domain Name Pac12.com

With the additions of Colorado and Utah next year, the Pac-10 will officially become the Pac-12. The conference’s current domain name is pac-10.org, but according to TNSP Sports Net via the Examiner, the conference is attempting to acquire the rights to the domain name pac12.com. The only problem is that domain name is already taken. Reportedly, the owners of those rights, an unnamed Tupac fan, is refusing to give in to legal pressure being applied by the Pac-10.

The domain name pac-12.org is already taken as well, by Bet-R Sites, LLC. While we don’t know who the unnamed individual is, it seems safe to assume that the Pac-10 has a better chance of getting the domain name from them than it does of getting it from Bet-R Sites. I wouldn’t imagine this person is making a whole lot off of this website, so presumably they are thinking “I gotta get mine.” I’m sure they’re just holding out for as good a deal as they can get.

Whoever this person is, they need to realize that the conference is probably going to get what they want in the end, but I don’t begrudge them for trying to get paid against all odds. In the end though, they’ll let ‘em have it and life will go on. That’s just the way it is, but I would offer some words of wisdom; it’s check out time. And I’m out of reasonably relevant Tupac references.