Pac-12 moves to reduce night games, penalize field storming
The Pac-12 Conference announced a series of administrative changes on Tuesday, including the reduction of night football games.
Conference presidents and chancellors approved the Pac-12 council’s recommendation to modify television deals with ESPN and Fox Sports to reduce late starts. Games can now start at either 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. local time and still overlap with either network’s exclusive TV windows. Per a release, this is expected to reduce Pac-12 night games by up to four contests per season.
“The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” said Rob Mullens, University of Oregon athletic director. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person."
Additionally, the Pac-12 has decided to establish institutional fines for court and field storming after games, beginning in 2016-17. Schools will receive fines of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 for first, second and third offenses, respectively.
The Pac-12 also announced it has approved inter-university eSports competition, which will include a Pac-12 championship.