Pac-12 Looks to Build ‘Digital Network’ for Social-Media Centric Sports Future

The Pac-12 conference, one year into its new broadcasting deal is now looking to expand its presence in other areas aside from broadcast television, a move that will encompass streaming media and other technologies broadcast to smartphones, tablets and other devices, mobile and immobile.

To spearhead the program the conferenceā€˜s wholly owned subsidiary Pac-12 Enterprises has hired David Aufhauser as vice president and general manager of digital media. He has been in various positions in the sports and social media market for almost two decades with his most recent position being Vice President, Media at Say Media where he managed the global ad network. Prior to that he led business development at Yahoo Sports and has a variety of positions at Citizen Sports, Evite and Netscape.

The job will entail all aspects of the digital media properties of the Pac-12 as well as the creation and management of the Pac-12 Digital Network. The Digital Network will be a unified web site that will provide world wide access to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as well as computers and even television for a wide range of sports activities that the Pac-12 is involved in.

The group will handle hundreds of sporting events and provide original programming at all 12 major campuses. This will include live streaming, mobile technology and social TV capabilities, the world. The network is expected to be launched in late summer 2012.

Last year the conference entered into a major upgrade on its broadcasting presence by working with major cable companies to create six regional cable networks as well as signing new national deals with FOX Sports and ESPN. The Digital Network is expected to work with the television networks to provide a more unified presence for the league. The new effort will also handle all sponsorship, licensing and event management for the Pac-12.

His hiring is just the latest in a string of newly enlisted personnel, all seemingly with wide experience in both sports and an array of various media. Last August the conference hired Gary Stevenson as the head of the Enterprise group. Stevenson has more than 30 years in a variety of sports and broadcasting experience including working with the NBA, the PGA Tour and owning his own sports consulting firm OnSports.

The Pac-12 Enterprise has also hired Bill Cella as its chief revenue officer. Cella has experience in sales and marketing and will design and implement long term strategies and oversee the management of all revenue generation for Pac-12 Enterprises.

Expect this to be the tip of the iceberg and a move that is carefully watched by both rival conferences and the NCAA governing body. No school is going to let additional revenue slip through its fingers and we will probably see a number quickly emulate the Pac-12.

The NCAA on the other hand may want a bigger piece of the pie. When Major League Baseball teams started to move onto the Internet MLB itself was a bit slow to follow. When it did it moved everything under its own umbrella, and no doubt gets a larger cut for its effort.

Trackbacks

  1. […] We reported on the early plans of the Pac-12 at the start of the start of the year as the conference started filling out its management team for the Pac-12 Enterprises, the body that will be handling the network and now more details have come forth. […]

  2. […] Pac-12 via its Pac-12 Networks continues to move to enhance its presence in the digital world and with partner Ooyala has now […]

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