August 1, 2012
Stanford announces Pac-12 Networks fall schedule, urges Cardinal fans to request channel from providers
By Kathleen J. Sullivan
Pac-12 Networks will provide live coverage of 12 Cardinal women's soccer games with the first broadcast on Aug. 17. (Photo: Jim Shorin / Stanfordphoto.com)
When Cardinal women's soccer takes to the field Aug. 17 for the first official game of the 2012 season, fans will be rooting from the bleachers of Maloney Field and from living room couches across the country by tuning into the Pac-12 Networks.
The match between Stanford – the 2011 NCAA Champions – and Santa Clara University will be the first live event broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks and the first live feed of a Pac-12 Conference game.
The historic broadcast represents a sea change for fans, who will be able to watch women's soccer and more than a dozen other varsity sports this year on the new channel no matter where they live in the United States, said Patrick Dunkley, deputy director of Stanford Athletics.
"Traditionally, people have been able to watch Stanford football games and some men's and women's basketball games live on television, as well as a smattering of other sports – maybe one regular season men's or women's soccer game," he said. "Now the majority of Stanford sports will have events televised live."
During fall quarter, Pac-12 Networks will provide live coverage of more than 40 Stanford events:
The Pac-12 Networks consists of one national and six regional television networks, including a Bay Area Network focused on Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley. The networks, which will provide access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to Pac-12 teams and universities, are fully owned by the Pac-12 Conference and its member institutions.
The upcoming broadcasts will provide an unprecedented level of media coverage for women's sports, as well as several men's and women's sports in which Stanford regularly excels that have traditionally not received robust exposure, said Kevin Blue, Stanford's associate director of athletics and liaison with Pac-12 Enterprises, the media company that created the new channel.
"The winter and spring broadcast schedules haven't been determined yet, but it is safe to assume that there will be significantly more coverage of many Stanford sports, including women’s basketball, softball and baseball," Blue said.
So far, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and the National Cable Television Cooperative have agreed to carry the channel.
Still, Blue said, there are some prominent video providers missing from that list.
"We're asking Stanford fans that have DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse or the DISH Network to call and request the channel if they want to watch our teams," he said. "There has to be enough demand from customers for a provider to sign up to carry the channel."
Visitors to the Stanford Athletics website will find a promotional video for the channel that begins with an aerial view of Stanford Stadium and follows with a fast-paced slide show of Stanford athletes and teams.
The website includes online forms that Stanford fans can send to their video providers asking them to carry the Pac-12 Networks. Fans also can tweet their support using the hashtag #IWantPac12Networks.
On campus, preparing for the upcoming broadcasts has been a team effort of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, which supports 35 varsity sports, and Information Technology Services, which manages the central information technology infrastructure and provides services and applications for use in academic and business activities.
Together, they have helped representatives of Pac-12 Networks assess what needs to be done to prepare various venues – including Maloney Field, Varsity Turf, Avery Aquatic Center, Maples Pavilion and Stanford Stadium – for the fall broadcasts.
Liz Goesseringer, IT Services Business Partner, explained, "Using our existing fiber infrastructure, we've provisioned a network to stream video from selected sports venues on campus to PAC-12 equipment installed in our campus data center, which connects to the PAC-12 Enterprises headquarters for broadcast." In addition to featuring live broadcasts of sports at Stanford, the Pac-12 Networks also will provide glimpses of academic life on the Farm.
"The Pac-12 Networks will produce profiles of Stanford's scholar-athletes that will show what the students are doing inside and outside the classroom," Dunkley said.
"Young people who are considering applying to Stanford will have the opportunity to get a better understanding of student life at Stanford by showing what the university is about – and what it has to offer."