Kevin Weiberg’s hiring as chief operating officer and deputy commissioner of the Pacific 10 Conference was a strategic move toward the goal of launching a television sports network, Commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday.
“A Pac-10 network was something that we were going to seriously explore,” Scott said in a conference call with reporters. “The timing is such that now we’re less than a year away from our negotiating period, our analysis and evaluation has to get more serious and more rigorous.
“Kevin will absolutely be a key player in that with his in-depth background.”
Scott also talked about possibly adding teams to the conference.
“To me, the logic if the Pac-10 is going to think about expanding, now is our window,” Scott said.
“The reason being if you’re going to consider a reconstruction of the conference, there’s a value proposition associated with that. Given that we’re about to have negotiations regarding our media rights, it makes sense that if you’re going to do it, to do it when you can monetize it.”
Scott said there have been “no serious discussions” with any schools.
The Pac-10’s television contract with Fox Sports Net is set to expire after the 2011-12 academic year.
In a former capacity, Weiberg helped launch and expand the range of the Big Ten Network as vice president of university planning and development. Before that, he was commissioner of the Big 12 Conference for nine years and the Big Ten’s deputy commissioner from 1989 to 1998.
Scott said a Pac-10 network could help dissipate the revenue gap between the Pac-10 and other Bowl Championship Series conferences such as the Big Ten and Southeastern, both of which have networks.
Associated Press contributed to this report