In case you’re still wondering what the future of college football will look like, the Pac-12 is seriously considering playing some games with a 9AM Pacific Time kickoff… because, Fox.
Hey, that’s why they pay Larry Scott the big bucks, y’all.
Filed under Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Pac-12 Football
“I’d like to see one or two games this season that are 12 noon (ET) kicks be Pac-12 games and see what markets might respond positively to that.”
Yea, I bet you would. You certainly know how potential attending fans would respond, but clearly you care more about moving the tv needle instead in markets 2,000 miles away. It’s hard enough to fill pac-12 seats as it is, even if you paid In-N-Out burger to show up and give out free burgers beforehand.
I can only imagine what a ASU, Cal…hell even a USC home stadium would look like for a 9:05 am kickoff. Even the Tennessee AD would have a hard time inflating those attendance numbers.
But he could still inflate the seating capacity to a 100K without expanding the stadium at all, amirite? Listening today on SiriusXM it turns out the 9 AM kickoff idea is to allow FOX Sports to have a Gameday type lead in show for Urbie to be on, and might be just a few times a season, and target some of the Mountain Time Zone games which are only an hour different from the 11 AM Central time kickoffs. Still a bad idea to me.
I don’t think the ratings and asses in the seats problems are as much about kickoff times as the apathy of West Coast fans, and the bad product they put on the field. I watch all the decent match ups they put on TV starting at 10 or 10:30 PM, but if they move into competition with the big games on the East and Mid Western areas, I doubt I would see 2 games a year. Right now they have no competition, but put them on against SEC games at noon or three, I don’t think they match up well at all. Almost every year I am going to watch KY/FU, LSU/Missy State, or SC/TN at noon or 3:00 before I watch Stanford/Washington or ASU/USC type games. Get better talking heads, and passionate atmospheres if you want to compete for CFB fans. Even then there are usually SEC contests, even ABC games on until 11 or 11:30 that will make me miss most of the 1st half of PAC 12 games. There problems are about more than geography, East Coast bias, and time zones.
The SEC has a lot of push back from Western teams for the noon Eastern time game and that is only a 1 hour difference. The stadium will be empty. This experiment will be a failure even if it turns out to be a good game. But hey, tv money.
The SEC West teams could avoid it by upgrading their schedules.
But they won’t.
I’m not going to watch a Pac 12 game at noon. If I’m watching from home, it’s going to be the SEC Network nooner. No matter how much the TV masters want to make college football a national sport, the sport is regional. People in the East don’t care about watching Arizona State and Utah play at 9 a.m. other than to laugh at the empty seats. Stay in your lane, Larry, and start games at 12:30 Pacific. Own your time zones, and the money will be there.
Exactly this. The PAC-12 should just worry about owning their timezone. Quit whining about their games on late at night. Instead, make sure their marquee games kick off at 1:00 local, that will give them plenty of viewers back east, assuming the product is good enough.
Kickoff @ 5 Pacific and you’re right in east coast prime time if it’s that important … If Nike U & UDub are playing for the inside track in the Pac 12 North and both are undefeated or have 1 loss, people are going to tune in across the country if the game kicks off at the right time.
On the other hand, a 9am start would be colder than a noon or 4pm start in August or September.
IDK. Is Washington in the PAC 12? I’d probably put them on the big screen while getting the grill work done (D-A-Y-D-R-I-N-K-I-N-G) to check out how our ex-dawg Eason looks.
Hey, you can’t party all day if you don’t start early!
Just let all the schools play their home games when they want to. Plenty of TV all Saturday long, starting with ACC games at 1PM through the night games of schools who historically played at night like LSU and South Carolina.
Pac-12 needs to get more creative. The time difference kills them, so does the laid back West Coast vibe.
They need to go all in on Thursday night….maybe even a flex schedule of some sort to put their highest profile game on then.
Thursday night traffic to get to a Stanford or Cal game would be an absolute nightmare.
Completely agree. Bay Area traffic is terrible. Good point.
About like trying to get to Athens from Atlanta on Thursdays
Based on my limited experience out there, worse.
My point is that Thursday night college football only works for certain schools, and UGA ain’t one of them. I can’t imagine driving through DeKalb and Gwinnett just to hit every light on 316 for a weekday night game. Imagine what it’s like to go from Cobb County to Athens without taking the full day off. No way would season ticket holders from rural parts of Georgia be able to attend without taking the full day off.
Don’t take this wrong – I absolutely do not want UGA playing anywhere, let alone Athens, on a Thursday night, but the only people who I think would be impacted by traffic are Atlanta folks, and then, everyone leaving the game. If you are rural, you can get there as well as you can any other day, because country folks have lots of ways of going to town. Just about anyone east of Conyers and south of I-20 will be able to get there same as they always do.
Someone from Valdosta doesn’t have to take the day off on Saturday to attend a Georgia game regardless of the start time. They would definitely have to do that to attend a game on a Thursday night (maybe even take 2 days off).
I should have done a better job with my point.
I have a good friend who moved out to the Bay Area a couple of years ago. Huge college football and basketball fan. The team he leads out there (primarily millennials) doesn’t give a rat’s @$$ about college sports. Everything is about pro sports especially the Warriors. He’s blown away by the lack of coverage and the lack of interest out there in the college game.
It’s just culturally different. Same way in the Northeast.
Post game tailgating. What”s not to like? 😉
FOX TV working their NASCAR magic on the PAC 12.
I played a sat morning 9am game in HS once. That day sucked.
I guess they aren’t satisfied with the rate at which they’re forever losing younger generations (both in the present and in the future as donors and season ticket holders). 9am kickoffs will help kill them off even quicker.
Larry isn’t exactly a genius. He is Mr. Peter Principle.
The Midwest schools have a lot of farm kids used to getting up at dawn.
Been to a few 11am games. The number of students arriving drunk is amazing.
Except for maybe Oregon, OSU, and WSU, this won’t happen in the PAC-12.
“... Shoot, why does anybody who’s ever won something do it again? Because it’s cool. So, let’s go do it again. Let’s see if we’ve got what it takes.” -- Stetson Bennett, The Athletic, 3/22/22
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