College football has a time problem and the Pac-12 Conference is taking steps to fix it.
The conference announced this summer that it will reduce halftimes in an effort to shorten what have been increasingly long football games. It revealed more details of the pilot program Wednesday, including adjusted commercial formats and moving up start times on selected games.
The program will be used in up to 15 nonconference games shown on the Pac-12 Networks and comes at a time when games have reached record lengths.
''We are committed to exploring new ways to provide our fans with the most enjoyable and engaging entertainment experience,'' Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. ''The Pac-12 Networks' unique ownership model provides the conference the flexibility to test new methods in its efforts to produce a better product for Pac-12 fans. We look forward to evaluating the results of this pilot program and discussing with our member universities as a next step following this year's football season.''
College football games have become longer in recent years, extending to a record average of 3 hours, 24 minutes in 2016. At a time when attention spans have become shorter, the Pac-12 is hoping to shorten games up to 10 minutes and reduce broadcast windows by up to 15 minutes.
The Pac-12 program will shorten halftimes from 15 to 20 minutes, but both teams must agree to the condensed break. So far, six games will have the shorter halftime.
The program will reduce the breaks between quarters and some games will use condensed break formats, reducing up to four additional minutes of break time. Some game times also will start closer to the TV-listed time instead of several minutes later, as is the current format.
The conference will collect feedback from fans and consult with its coaches, administrators and broadcast partners to evaluate the pilot program after the 2017 season.
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