Big DAS Deals: AT&T Bringing DAS to Pac-12, Extenet Scores with AEG

Though no specific stadium installation plans have yet been made public, two big DAS deals were announced in the past week, with AT&T on track to bring DAS deployments to the Pac-12 conference, while ExteNet scored an exclusive DAS deal with entertainment giant AEG.

I don’t have confirmation but I do believe that AT&T’s agreement to be the exclusive wireless sponsor for the Pac-12 is the first such deal signed with one of the top collegiate conferences. Though agreements and details will have to be worked out on a stadium-by-stadium basis, the opportunity to be the exclusive provider of DAS infrastructure for all big facilities at the 12 major universities is a big win for AT&T. Jon Wilner over at the Mercury News has a good explanation of the full deal, which also includes content agreements for carrying Pac-12 broadcasts on AT&T U-Verse.

After deploying DAS (Distributed Antenna System) networks to all stadiums by next year, it will be interesting to see if AT&T helps the schools financially with any corresponding Wi-Fi network buildouts. AT&T has gone on the record publicly to say that it doesn’t want to help fund Wi-Fi, but that stance might be different if AT&T has exclusive deals like this one. In other DAS news AT&T also was announced as the supplier of new DAS deployments at CenturyLink Field in Seattle; you have to believe that when it comes to stadium DAS AT&T is the market leader, all part of a big push toward the small cellular antenna systems started a few years ago by CTO John Donovan.

ExteNet and AEG

But even with AT&T’s big wins, that doesn’t mean there isn’t DAS opportunity for multiple players. Infrastructure experts ExteNet proved that with the announcement of its exclusive-rights deal to build DAS and other wireless infrastructure for AEG facilities. In terms of venues, AEG owns or is affiliated with a long list of big facilites, like the Staples Center in LA, the Sprint Center in Kansas City, O2 in London, and more.

With no announced specific plans yet a deal like this is what we call “a work in progress.” And some of the AEG facilities already have networks, so it’s unclear what the total opportunity is. Still, not a bad win for ExteNet, which has put networks in places for customers like the University of Michigan and the Miami Marlins and the Barclays Center.

“We are working with individual [AEG] venues to understand the level of coverage, if any, in their venues,” said ExteNet VP Jon Davis in an email reply to our questions. “The specific venues we are engaged with have limited, if any, in-building coverage. There is a mix of sports and music concerts in these venues and the demand is for high bandwidth mobile connectivity to cater to the coverage and, increasingly more important, capacity needs for these venues.”

Friday Grab Bag: NBA STATS, Pac-12 & U-verse

The NBA has expanded a limited partnership with STATS to full time and will be installing motion tracking cameras in every arena this season. This will enable teams to amass a huge amount of data that can be used for in-game decisions as well as for other uses.

First used in 2009 for the NBA Finals, and now used by 15 teams, it allows for the analysis of player movement and a team can see how well or poorly its players fare in head to head matchups, among other uses.

Lenovo Enters the Phablet Phase
Lenovo has taken the wraps off of its 5-inch Vibe X Phablet. The smartphone features a 5-inch display that has 1920 x 1080 resolution and is powered by a 1,5GHz quad core processor. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. However it is not clear how wide of a distribution the device will have.

Panasonic teases with 20-inch tablet presentation
It looks like Panasonic is preparing a 20-inch tablet that could be for the mainstream market that is being touted as the thinnest and lightest. The company showed it a in a presentation at a pre-IFA event last week in Berlin.

The Panasonic 4K tablet is expected to have 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution and was shown as a concept offering, but the company has shown in the past that it is building a 20-inch device. Slash Gear reported that it could simply be a scaled down version of a previously shown model.

Pac-12 Networks inks deal with AT&T U-Verse
The Pac-12 now has an official wireless provider for all of its athletic venues in the form of AT&T and its U-Verse service. The deal, signed last week has already resulted in the broadcast of five football games last Saturday.

Going forward AT&T will deliver web and app access to the games but the timing for those was not announced. It will rebroadcast a number of Pac-12 Network broadcasts for the time being in both HD and SD.

NFL Teams with Sporting News for video
If you are always looking for NFL videos and highlights during the offseason then there is good news for you as the NFL has signed a deal with Sporting News Media to just that by bringing the 2013 NFL regular and postseason to the SN ePlayer platform.

Sporting News will have video on demand highlights from the NFL games as well as additional content and will make it available to fans year round so that they can relieve the highlights or lowlghts of the season over and over again.

Microsoft has big event Sept. 23
Press invites are making their way to the appropriate people inviting them to a major event that Microsoft will be hosting on Sept. 23 that will be held in New York City. The event, listed as a Surface event, is expected to bring the company’s second generation tablets to the public.

Intel to develop low cost chip for tablets
The annual Intel Developers Conference was in full swing last week with a huge outpouring of press releases and talking points, and one that is of particular interest is its pledge for a new processor targeted directly at Android tablet makers.

Intel said that it is making an as yet unnamed processor in the Atom family that will enable Android developers to offer tablets at sub-$100 rates. Of course since Apple makes its own processors don’t expect an iPad in this space anytime soon.

University of Oregon embraces Social Media with Quack Cave

Oregon's Quack Cave

The PAC-12 Network’s introduction yesterday of its Pac-12 Now for iPad is just the latest conference effort to expand its brand to a wider market but some of the individual schools are also making a push to create a stronger bond with their fans and alumni.

One school at the forefront of this effort is the University of Oregon which has been aggressive in the past with programs such as its web site and other initiatives but now has gone another step with its Quack Cave.

Touted as the first social media hub in college sports and modeled after an effort by the NHL’s New Jersey Devils the school has outfitted a room that would be the envy of any technophile, filled with flat screens connected to iPads.

While the site is not just sports specific it looks like it will be sports centric. The Quack Cave will be charged with representing the school on a wide variety of social medias including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

The schools previous efforts at digital outreach have been very successful, with approximately 500,000 Facebook and Twitter followers, but the current effort could make that number seem small potatoes. Housed in a former storage unit near the school’s Autzen Stadium

The school is still in the process of setting up the effort and the site was not active as of this writing but I expect that a big push is underway in order to get it up and running by this weekend when the football season opens for much of the nation. Fans can also follow at @QuackCave on Twitter.

I think this is a great idea, not just for Oregon, but any school. It seems that it will have a much more immediate and personal impact than the conference efforts, which will have to be more balanced (hopefully). If your school is doing something similar drop me a line at


Pac-12-Networks, Ooyala release Pac-12 Now for iPad

Pac-12 Now for iPad opens up multi-screen viewing

The Pac-12 via its Pac-12 Networks continues to move to enhance its presence in the digital world and with partner Ooyala has now delivered an iPad app that will enable fans to watch both live and video on demand games (VOD).

The app, Pac-12 Now for iPad, is one of the first efforts from the recently formed Pac-12 Networks, an organization that is designed to bring both broadcast and streaming sports and entertainment to fans, in conjunction with its partner Ooyala. Pac-12 Now for iPad is available in the iTunes Store and on

Ooyala developed what it calls a graphic interactive program guide (IPG) that enables users to customize the app to meet their individual preferences. It allows a user to prioritize both sports and teams during setup and has a chat feature so that fans can share comments and thoughts when viewing live action via Facebook and Twitter feeds that are enabled next to the video feed so that you do not have to switch to a different app while viewing.

Going forward the IPG will also feature the ability to alert users to events that are currently live and inform them on issues such as games that are tied, close or near the final moments as well as provide social feedback via a social graph that you can ac


The two plan on continuing to expand the technology so that users with PCs, tablets and smartphones will be able to watch games when not in front of a television or to use it as a second screen, watching two events at the same time. Android is the next platformed targeted and it should be out soon.

The goal is to broadcast 850 live and VOD sporting events over the year as well analysis and commentary, statistics, press conferences, documentaries and other content. By connecting it directly to social media such as Facebook and Twitter it enables a degree of participation for fans that a simple broadcast would not allow.

Aside from the IPG Ooyala also provided what it calls a Stat Server. The Stat Server automatically imports sports stats and timecode data from third parties and tags that with live and VOD content. This enables users to search by stats or event tags and allows the information to be displayed at the proper time when an event is being viewed, regardless if it is live or VOD. The authentication is designed to make it easy to view content across multiple connected devices.

It is very interesting to look at all of the ways in which colleges are reaching out to fans and getting both sports and academic advancements out to alumni and fans. Recently the ACC added YouTube to its digital network. The Big Ten Network has already expanded out to digital devices and recently added Android support.

This is just great for fans, not just mobile ones but also fans of multiple teams or sports-they can now watch a game on a mobile device while also catching a different one on the TV or a computer, enabling them to easily stay abreast with events in areas that interest them.


YouTube Deal Will Enhance ACC’s Digital Network

The Atlantic Coast Conference’s digital network has introduced a channel on YouTube that will deliver live content from the ACC as YouTube continues to grow as a force in live sports broadcasting with deals such as this.

We have long talked about the emergence of YouTube as a de facto channel for sports, and YouTube has been working hard to cement that position with the ACC deal as one of its more notable deals. However in case you missed it will also be serving up some nice Olympic moments via a deal with NBC that will enable it to show highlights and live events from the London Olympics.

The ACC and YouTube have been partners to a degree for several years and provided exclusive, but not live content at its site since at least 2009, however this takes it a significant step further.

Between that time and now the ACC started a deal with Silver Chalice that enabled it to launch the ACC Digital Network that provided broad coverage of the ACC schools including news conferences, highlights and analysis that could be delivered to both Apple and Android mobile devices.

Now it will also present live events as well as on demand videos that are created by the ACC as well as a live weekly studio program during football and basketball season. There will also be condensed replays of ACC Network productions of football and basketball games.

The current deal will call for the ACC to provide fan access and interaction to its analysts via Google’s Google Hangout. Fans can view, comment upon and share the programming by visiting, or by searching for ACC Digital Network on YouTube.

Of course others are also working on attracting digital partners. The Big Ten Networks recently expanded to support Android in its broadcast and the Pac-12 is increasingly involved in digital media. Still it is nice that the ACC will be presenting live sports to its fan base and other interested parties.

Pac-12 Digital Network Ready for Primetime with help from Ooyala

The Pac-12 has finally taken the wraps of its pending network effort in time for the advent of the 2012-2013 BCS football season with the revelation of the Pac-12 Digital Network that it created in partnership with Ooyala.

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.

This is part of an ongoing trend in schools as networks that support your sports teams, and academics are increasingly important as a source of coverage and revenue for the institutions and more and more conferences are forming them.

From its inception the goal has been to make the network more than simply a television broadcast arm of the Pac-12 and instead make it a tool to reach fans in a manner that meets their needs. SO it includes capabilities for tablets, smartphones and the Internet as well as the more traditional television broadcasts that we have all come to know and love.

To bring video and broadcast to all of these devices the Pac-12 teamed with Ooyala, a company that develops cross platform broadcast video solutions and also has a great deal of expertise in monetizing the resulting video.

The two will be developing customizable content that users can use to create a platform that meets their viewing needs. The initial plans are to develop for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.
The various capabilities that will be offered to subscribers of any of the Pac-12 broadcast partners and will enable them to view sports, highlights and other content anywhere in the world. There will be both ad-free and ad-supported content.

The network will broadcast an estimated 850 live games in both men’s and women’s sports and all of the men’s football and basketball games that are not carried nationally. Its broadcasting team will feature celebrities Ronnie Lott, Rick Neuheisel and Summer Sanders.

The Big Ten Network recently expanded to provide a very similar service to its fans with the development of BTN2GO and I suspect that when I take a look at other conferences around the legue we will see similar efforts. What sets this one appart is that it was part of its basic concept and built-in from the ground up rather than added later.

I wonder if this means that there will be a big build-out in wireless networks at stadiums around the league. Once you provide the capability on video I am sure fans will want to see replays and highlights of plays at events they are attending.