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Utah Utes sports: Pac-12 vision calls for abundant content, availability

Published: Thursday, Aug. 25 2011 9:29 p.m. MDT

In this Oct. 21, 2011 file photo, Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott announces the splitting of NCAA college football divisions during a news conference in San Francisco. Since taking over a conference that was stuck in neutral in July 2009, Scott has orchestrated the largest TV deal in college history, restructured the league and its tournaments, saved sports from being slashed, pulled rival programs together to share revenue and put the nation on notice: The Pac-12 is not just a BCS conference, it\'s reshaping college athletics. () In this Oct. 21, 2011 file photo, Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott announces the splitting of NCAA college football divisions during a news conference in San Francisco. Since taking over a conference that was stuck in neutral in July 2009, Scott has orchestrated the largest TV deal in college history, restructured the league and its tournaments, saved sports from being slashed, pulled rival programs together to share revenue and put the nation on notice: The Pac-12 is not just a BCS conference, it\'s reshaping college athletics. ()

SALT LAKE CITY — Gary Stevenson, the newly hired president of Pac-12 Enterprises, says Utah fans can expect a lot out of the conference's planned networks.

"Our vision, and obviously it doesn't all happen tomorrow, is no matter what screen you watch -- whether it's your cell phone, or your laptop, or your television screen, or whatever screens come in the future, whatever screen you get your content on — we'll be there with Pac-12 programming."

A year from now, the Pac-12 plans to have a national network, six regional networks (including one for Colorado and Utah) and a digital network up and running.

"If you're a Utah fan, or if you're a Pac-12 football or basketball fan, every game will be on ESPN, Fox or the Pac-12 Networks," Stevenson said. "So if you want to watch every men's football game and men's basketball game you will have the opportunity to do that, which is really unique."

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham talks to reporters at the Pac-12 football media day in Los Angeles Tuesday, July 26, 2011.  (Associated Press, ) Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham talks to reporters at the Pac-12 football media day in Los Angeles Tuesday, July 26, 2011. (Associated Press, )

Secondly, he said, the regional network will give fans the ability to see games from other sports specific to Utah. It'll also show games that aren't on the national network.

A third benefit is an abundance of air time and a platform to tell stories on a variety of topics, such as remembrances, rivalries and personality profiles related to the university.

"Much like a Sports Illustrated can really dig in on a particular story, we're going to be able to do that seven days a week, 24 hours per day," Stevenson said. "So, if you're a Utah fan, you are going to have exposure to a lot more of what goes on in Utah athletics than you do now."

Utah athletics director Chris Hill is excited about the vision of the plans, which he said is phenomenal.

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"I think the Pac-12 Network and the six regional ones are all about exposure and our coaches and athletes are excited about it," Hill noted.

Stevenson, who will also oversee Pac-12 Properties, is excited to get things developed. He has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, having worked with the NBA, PGA and the Golf Channel. Stevenson also launched his own consulting firm, the highly successful OnSport, along the way.

"We have a lot of work to do. But the good news about that is very rarely in a lifetime do you have an opportunity to do something kind of unique and brand new," Stevenson said. "So, as I've told anyone who has asked about this, anybody that complains about working on something this fun and this unique probably doesn't need to be working on it."

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