Pac-12 games could be coming your phone, tablet soon

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The Pac-10 – soon to be Pac-12 – could make a bold move with its new TV network. It might get away from TV altogether.

The conference is assessing three options for its viewing future, according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News. One is to partner with an existing programmer and distribute Pac-12 events on a channel already in millions of homes. Or it could partner with a cable or satellite operator to start a new channel (like Comcast).

Or there’s the tablet approach.

Conference commissioner Larry Scott is thinking about partnering with Apple or Google to broadcast games on computers, tablet or mobile phone. It wouldn’t be as profitable right away, but would pay huge dividends in a few years when more and more sporting events are watched away from TVs. (Or even on TVs, but with Google TV.)

The conference isn’t worried about money right away – that massive $250 million deal with FOX and ESPN assures it won’t go broke – which would make developing a nifty app to watch games online worthwhile.

The conference would presumably own all the content and could rake in big money by offering an app Pac-12 fans would want and happily purchase. Take MLB’s At Bat 11 app. It’s an incredibly popular – and profitable – way for the league to distribute its content in a way it chooses and with a damn cool app, too.

The Pac-12 may stay with the traditional models and stick with TV only. But the ideal would be to focus on the tablets, phones and computers and slowly develop a TV channel to broadcast the high-profile events, and presumably rake in millions in ad revenue.

Don’t stop now, Pac-12. Be bold.

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