- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Pac-12 announced Sunday that it has created an 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET) television window for this upcoming season in an effort to reduce the number of night games across the conference.
From the news release: "Pac-12 Networks will exclusively broadcast the games in this time slot in place of an evening window throughout the season. The number of 11 a.m. PT games will be determined as the season and television picks progress."
Said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: "... we believe fans -- both in our stadiums and in the television audience -- will benefit.”
Creating an 11 a.m. PT time slot obviously will reduce the number of night games, which many fans have complained about. This past season, more often than not, there were three conference games kicking off at 7 p.m. or later on Saturday. A few Saturdays, there were four.
The advantage with an 11 a.m. kickoff is fewer late games. The disadvantage is an unusually early start time.
That might negatively affect stadium attendance. It certainly will reduce the length of the pregame tailgating experience. And it will be interesting to see how the TV ratings are affected.
The Pac-12 Network might counter that it will be advantageous to show the, say, Utah-Arizona game at 11 a.m. in the future rather than at 7 p.m., when last Oct. 19 it competed with USC at Notre Dame, Washington State-Oregon and Oregon State at California. While SEC, Big Ten and ACC fans might keep their own games on at 2 p.m. ET instead of watching a Pac-12 contest, West Coast fans might be more likely to watch in the morning when there's no other regional game of note.
But what do you think? Are 11 a.m games good or bad for fans and/or Pac-12 business?