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Utah brite: Pac-12 commissioner likes Vegas move

Published: Friday, March 15 2013 8:25 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JUNE 17: PAC-10 Commissioner Larry Scott hold up University of Utah gear after admitting the University of Utah into the PAC-10 June 17, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The University of Utah was invited to join the PAC-10 for the 2011-12 athletic year.   (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images) (George Frey, Getty Images) SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JUNE 17: PAC-10 Commissioner Larry Scott hold up University of Utah gear after admitting the University of Utah into the PAC-10 June 17, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The University of Utah was invited to join the PAC-10 for the 2011-12 athletic year. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images) (George Frey, Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — Before Friday’s Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, conference commissioner Larry Scott met with the media. He discussed a variety of topics and congratulated the four teams who made it to the second-to-last day of competition.

Scott began his remarks by noting he’s been pleased with how things have gone this week at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“This is the kind of atmosphere that we envisioned and hoped for when we thought about moving the tournament from Los Angeles,” he said. “This was the objective — the kinds of crowds, the dynamic atmosphere that we’ve witnessed. That was our top priority.”

After initially calling it a step forward, Scott upgraded it to a leap forward. He announced that Friday’s session was the first in tourney history to be sold out. The final tickets were purchased an hour before the Arizona-UCLA game. Then came Oregon and Utah.

Scott went on to discuss the successful first year of the Pac-12 Networks, noting that the enterprise has 55 different distributors. The list, however, does not include DirecTV.

“It’s a great source of frustration,” Scott said before explaining the situation. “I want to reiterate we are ready to make an agreement with DirecTV. We’re eager to do so.

“We’ve offered them the same terms, essentially, as to what the other 55 distributors are carrying,” he continued. “Unfortunately they’ve refused to take it at this point and time.”

Scott described the Pac-12’s offer to DirecTV as fair, serious and consistent. He’s hopeful an agreement will be reached soon, avoiding a second football season of “depriving their customers and our fans of great content.”

In other matters, Scott said the Pac-12 may end up looking at playing basketball games on Tuesdays and Fridays to alleviate late start times on other days. He also expects the conference to be well represented in next week’s NCAA Tournament, expressing his belief that the league is regaining historical levels of national prominence and success.

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