Counting down

Less than an hour to go before launch now and the Pac-12 Enterprises headquarters and studios are bustling with activity right now. Much of the networks’ on-air talent are here, along with dignitaries, media and invited guests. Different divisions of the enterprises are taking ceremonial photos in front of the Pac-12 Networks set.

Much more to come throughout the evening. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.!

 

Fall schedule jam-packed

We are on the cusp of the networks launch, and once it does, the fall lineup will be crammed with terrific and diverse programming. It all starts Wednesday at 6 p.m. with “Pac-12 Live,” a one-hour program that will welcome viewers to the networks. In the weeks to come this fall, in addition to the onslaught of live broadcasts of football, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s water polo and the Pac-12 cross country championships, there will be an array of original programming produced at the networks’ studios in San Francisco.

That will begin immediately after “Pac-12 Live” on Wednesday with “Pac-12 Conference Outlook,” a 60-minute preview show of the upcoming football season. In the days that follow, there will also 30-minute specials on each of the 12 teams in the conference.

On Thursday, the networks will begin its look at the different fall sports other than football. There will be a 30-minute preview of the women’s volleyball season, followed by shows about the other fall Olympic sports over the next week.

More highlights from the fall season:

  • “Pac-12 Football Encore”: Replays of the two best football games each week.
  • “Conference of Champions”: A monthly show featuring off-the-field accomplishments by students, coaches and faculty.
  • “Pac-12 Classics”: Re-broadcasts of some of the most memorable games in conference history, augmented with updated interviews from the folks involved.
  • “Pac-12 Football Pregame Show”: One hour before the first game of the day on the networks, it’s hosted by Mike Yam and Ashley Adamson. Get used to both of these co-hosts. They will be spending a lot of time in your living room.
  • “Pac-12 Football Postgame Report”: Immediately follows the last game of the day on the networks.
  • “Pac-12 Football Rewind”: Every Sunday night at 9 p.m., the networks provide a thorough recap of the weekend’s action.
  • “Football in 60”: Throughout the week, the previous week’s games will be condensed into 60 minutes for those who missed their favorite teams and want a recap in an hour.
  • “Pac-12 Playbook”: Every Tuesday, after each of the conference’s coaches have held their weekly press conferences and dissected what happened the week before, the networks will review the action through the words of the coaches.

For even more on fall programming, click here.

Home stretch

In a matter of hours, history will be made when the Pac-12 Networks launch at 6 p.m. on Wednesday with an edition of “Pac-12 Live.” There will be plenty more on fall programming in the next couple of days as we get ready to delve into a new era of college sports on television.

In the meantime, the staff at Pac-12 Enterprises has been busy readying for the launch. On-air talent has been coming in to the studios in downtown San Francisco for testing and rehearsals. Original shows have been rehearsed and taped. Countless hours of video has been reviewed and edited for various promos and other content.

The control room has been buzzing with producers, directors and other production staff putting things together for launch. Last week, sideline reporter Brooke Olzendam and analyst Ryan Nece taped a handful of football preview shows while producer Jim Hornby and other vital behind-the-scenes folks ran the show from the control room.

The networks have been busy with tapings such as these — the Pac-12 Footbal Preview show featuring Colorado.

In one of the numerous editing suites at the networks’ facilties, director of production Devin Pense and manager of promotions Ted Ishler were busy at work producing one of the approximately 324 promos needed for launch.

Manager of promotions Ted Ishler, foreground, and director of production Devin Pense work at editing a promo that will be ready for the launch of the networks.

“Pac-12 Live” is one of a handful of original shows the networks will produce during the fall season, in addition to the plethora of live events scheduled to be aired. In the days immediately after the launch, the networks will feature season previews on all 12 football teams in the conference, as well as preview shows on all the other fall sports.

The networks’ first live event is Friday at 7 p.m., with Santa Clara playing Stanford in women’s soccer. The first football game on the networks is Thursday, Aug. 30 with Utah hosting Northern Colorado. That will be the first game of a double header, with Northern Arizona taking on Arizona State immediately afterward.

Calabro happy for fans

Kevin Calabro is not just a sports broadcaster. He is also a fan.

And for a guy who has spent much of his adult life in the Pacific Northwest, he can’t wait for the launch of the Pac-12 Networks.

Calabro was hired last week as one of the play-by-play voices for the upcoming football season. He’s excited to be doing the games, but just as thrilled that what the networks will provide.

“As a fan living in Seattle, there were a number of times last year that frankly I couldn’t see the (Washington) Huskies and (Washington State) Cougars play,” Calabro said. “I think I speak for all Pac-12 fans that I can’t wait to see my team play every Saturday. And not just football, but for basketball and a number of Olympic sports as well — it’s certaily unique to sports fans on the West Coast.”

Calabro is well-known for his work as an NBA announcer — he was the voice of the Seattle SuperSonics for 21 seasons before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City. He also has done numerous games on a national level on both radio and television. But Calabro also has extensive college experience. He logged stints as the football and basketball voice for both Purdue and Missouri and has done several Washington football and basketball games for TV in recent years.

“Rather than complain, they’re doing something about it,”Calabro said about the networks and the conference’s response to underexposure nationally. “It’s a real innovative approach. Obviously, the revenue they will realize will be second to none, but they’ve also created a vehicle to promote themselves. It’s an extremely bright idea.”

Calabro will be teamed with former Arizona State standout safety Adam Archuleta in the booth with former USC assistant coach Yogi Roth on the sideline.

Networks meaningful to Robinson

Ted Robinson has done just about all you can in sports broadcasting, but he realizes there is something special about the college game.

As an example, Robinson was in Tucson last year to do the men’s basketball game between Stanford and Arizona when U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords was shot outside a grocery store. The game was postponed a day and Robinson said he was struck by the connection the Arizona campus had with its community.

“I was blown away by the reverence the community had for the university,” said Robinson, hired earlier this week to be the lead football play-by-play broadcaster for the Pac-12 Networks. “There was an incredible bond. It showed the role a university has in bonding people together. I didn’t understand that and it took a horrible thing to hammer it home. I learned something that day.”

Robinson is a perfect fit to call Pac-12 football games. He has served stints as the voice of Stanford and Cal and has done endless college games on network television.

“I’ve been around a lot,” Robinson said. “The conference is clearly moving in the right direction. I think we would all agree it needed a boost in terms of exposure. It’s great to be with the conference.

Robinson will call football games every week and be paired with color analyst Glenn Parker. Robinson is also the current radio voice of the San Francisco 49ers so wil be catching a lot of flights after Pac-12 games on Saturday to be at a 49ers game the next day.

Flemming excited to join networks

Like so many others involved with the conference, Dave Flemming acknowledges the Pac-12 may have been on the short end of media exposure over the years. That’s one of the reasons he is looking forward to joining the Pac-12 Networks as one of the play-by-play voices for the upcoming football season.

“Those of us out West have maybe spent some time over the years thinking the Pac-10, now the Pac-12, has gotten the short shrift,” Flemming said. “It’s a chance for us to do our own thing out here now.”

Flemming is no stranger to the Pac-12. He is a Stanford alum who later went on to become the Cardinal’s radio voice for both football and basketball. He also has extensive experience doing play-by-play for ESPN and has been a radio voice of the San Francisco Giants for nine years. Flemming called the Pac-12 championship game for ESPN radio last season.

“I’m really excited about it,” Flemming said. “As an alum and a longtime fan, I’m really happy that the league seems to be in such a good place right now. Once you go to one of these schools and are part of so many great moments, you have a deeper appreciation for what the whole thing means. I’ve really grown to love the conference.”

Flemming’s first assignment will be the Nevada-Cal game on Sept. 1. He will work analyst Coy Wire and sideline reporter Brooke Olzendam.

Football On-Air Talent Takes Shape

Some of the most respected personalities in sports broadcasting will be behind the mike for the inaugural football season on the Pac-12 Networks.

The networks announced Monday the on-air lineup for their broadcasts and it includes three of the finest play-by-play announcers in sports broadcasting — Ted Robinson, Kevin Calabro and Dave Flemming. Furthermore, the networks have brought on a handful of former Pac-12 standouts as color analysts — Adam Archuleta (Arizona State) Curtis Conway (USC), Ryan Nece (UCLA), Glenn Parker (Arizona) and Coy Wire (Stanford). They join the previously announced Rick Neuheisel and Ronnie Lott to make up a deep and talented team of experts.

The analysts will appear both on game telecasts and in the studio for pregame, postgame and halftime coverage. Ashley Adamson will anchor the studio shows.

Robinson is the current play-by-play voice of the San Francisco 49ers and has done it all in a 30-year broadcasting career. He has been the voice of a handful of pro and college teams and is well-known for his work with professional tennis and the Olympics.

Calabro is well-known for his NBA work on TNT and was the play-by-play voice of the Seattle SuperSonics for 21 years before they moved to Oklahoma City. Flemming has been a play-by-play broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants for nine years and has vast experience with ESPN.

For more on the broadcast teams, click here.