Sales stats, HQ move, staying mum on CFP and other notes from Commissioner’s press conference – Marin Independent Journal


LAS VEGAS — The Pac-12 is considering ways to turn ownership of its statistics into a revenue stream, with university presidents and chancellors set to discuss the matter here Saturday at the March annual board meeting.

“Data is part of media rights, and media rights are one of the top issues on our agenda with the board,” Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said Thursday.

“We will certainly discuss data rights as part of this package.”

The path to cash has already been lit, in a sense.

Earlier this week, the Mid-American Conference announced a partnership with Genius Sports, which will manage league statistics across all sports and negotiate with any gaming companies that want access to real-time MAC data.

These companies would have to pay the MAC for the use of its statistics, generating revenue that the league could distribute to its members.

“We do this to control our data, which ends up in the public domain anyway,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher told ESPN. “We want to manage this asset. We want this asset to bring value back to our institutions so that we can support our student-athletes, plain and simple.

(The NFL also has an agreement with Genius Sports, which is based in London.)

Online and mobile sports betting is legal, but with some restrictions, in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, but not in Utah or California.

Other standouts from Kliavkoff’s press conference at T-Mobile Arena:

–Kliavkoff has adopted a no-comment policy when it comes to stalling college football playoff expansion talks.

The Pac-12 joined the Big Ten and the ACC in voting against CFP expansion, each for different reasons. At this point, a 12-team event is unlikely before the 2026 season.

The next time he comments publicly “will be to announce a new format,” Kliavkoff said.

— The Pac-12 has begun the process of locating a new home for the conference office and Pac-12 networks.

Options apparently include staying in the Bay Area (but not San Francisco), Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and maybe somewhere else.

Kliavkoff said this issue will also be discussed at the CEO meeting on Saturday.

– The conference has played all 120 men’s basketball conference games despite the majority of teams going on multi-week COVID breaks.

There were 17 matches postponed; each team played 10 home games and 10 away games.

“The fact that we have all of these postponed…is, frankly, miraculous,” Kliavkoff said.

– The need to play catch-up games at the start of the week – so they don’t interfere with the rotation of shifts from Thursday to Saturday – has prompted discussions about the use of Monday and Tuesday as part of of the regular schedule.

“It was an eye opener for us,” said Deputy Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich, who oversees men’s basketball.

He expects the head coaches to discuss “creative ideas to leverage more days of the week”.

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