What Does George Kliavkoff Need to do FIRST?

Ryan Robertson Editorials 17 Comments

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George Kliavkoff is officially the Pac-12 commissioner. He takes over the conference at one of the most important junctures in history, with the bigger conferences just about in control of the entire country, and the Pac-12 falling further and further behind.

The TV deal is a disaster, the football and basketball teams haven’t won a championship in over a decade, the games are on so late that no one on the East coast watches them, recruiting is as bad as in any Power 5 conference. In other words: the Pac-12 is in rebuild mode. As with any rebuild, it is going to take a couple of years to right the ship, but the first step needs to be stopping the water from coming in.

My opinion would be that he starts with the game times. The only way to be relevant is to make yourself relevant, and Larry Scott allowed the Pac-12 to be as irrelevant as the Sun Belt Conference over the last few years. Put the games in front of a national audience, or no one will ever know what the programs look like. Having people all over the country watch the games is the first step to proving you will not be trifled with. Step two would be winning those same games, so that’s self explanatory.

But what is your opinion on the most pressing need? If the conference could blame all of their problems on one issue, what would it be?

Ryan Robertson
Yuma, Arizona
Top Photo By: Pac-12 Twitter

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Game times aren’t 100% up to the league. The Pac 12 has the 3rd fewest eyes by time zone, so it really does make more sense for the network people to put the Pac 12 on at the end of the day. Why show a game where only 16% of the nation is watching during prime time?

Non national TV games can be played whenever, but if you want a national TV game, it will more than likely be on late. They aren’t going to have an east coast team kick off at 9:00 PM. They aren’t always going to want Hawaii home games for the only late night game. We do have the hashtag Pac12AfterDark….

Moving the HQ is an absolute must, when they can.

Getting the Pac 12 Network part of all major cable providers. I’m still not sure I understand why they turned down DirectTV. Was it because they wanted 50 cents per subscriber and DirectTV was only willing to pay 25 cents?


Not sure the conference isn’t solely in charge of setting game times. Unless Disney has achieved some voting position I’m not aware of.

The networks do have tremendous influence on conference policy, which in my opinion is the root of what is wrong with college sports. The good news is the networks are dead but don’t know it. I believe streaming services will eventually take over the market.

Amazon Prime has begun streaming NFL games. Netflix is gobbling up movie and TV production. I’m betting it won’t be long before either a conference or university ( think Texas, Norte Dame ) breaks from the herd and signs on to a major streaming outfit.

The current viewership metrics will be redefined. The Network talking heads will be diminished in importance and fans will start believing their lying eyes.

I’m hoping the new guy at the PAC 12 helm gets this and leads the conference ‘s new media negotiations into a new era of streaming.


“We are bitterly disappointed that the great Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry, on the 50th anniversary of the Game of the Century, will kick off at 11 a.m. [local time],” Castiglione said in a statement. “We tried every possible avenue to proactively make our case.

The Big 12 Conference also supported our strenuous efforts to secure a more traditional time that would honor this game and our fans. However, in the end, our TV partner chose to exercise its full contractual rights and denied our requests.


I am going to go a few different routes because honestly who knows what can and can not be achieved in the short while contracts expire.(It may be too costly to move to headquarters until their lease is up.)

What The pac 12 needs to do now is start unifying how they will manage Name, Image, Likeness as well as player empowerment. This is going to take a lot of unification across the states, with the NCAA and with the schools themselves.

Following that the conference needs to determine what can be done(fairly) to improve the conference standing with in football. The conference needs consistent top dogs. we can’t have top teams not making the playoffs every single year.

Outside of this the conference needs to start pushing viewership of their network. Long term I think The pac will be better off if they had followed suit in working with networks rather than pushing their own network. What the pac is missing currently is advertising. The SEC is pushed by ESPN because ESPN owns the SECNetwork. The pac can not go it alone but until major contracts are up the pac should be doing everything they can to get the network into as many homes as possible(they need to inflate viewership).


Even a statement the conference is not going to renew the lease, and will look for more suitable, cheaper headquarters would go a long way.

We no longer have a king running the conference, just a commissioner trying to make prudent, forwarding thinking decisions. The scale on expense to income needs to be flipped!


That statement would be music to my ears.


Seems the new commish already addressed the $$$ digs in SF.
Will move to cheaper location asap.
I’m hoping for move to Vegas eventually.


A COVID attendance policy. Boy, I don’t know how to be non political on the matter. The three coastal state’s leadership is clueless on the subject. That’s all I dare say.

The conference sports departments are hemorrhaging money. We have to figure out how to safely put butts in the seats this fall.

Game times; why can’t we go back to 1 PM kickoffs? That would be what 4 PM east coast time? There are plenty of football fans nation wide who I believe would tune into an exciting game regardless of what teams from what conference are playing.

The traditional start time would acknowledge the effort and resources season ticket holders and long suffering fans living out of area make to attend games. While helping boast the service and hospitality sectors of local economies.

The new guy has to hit the ground running. Explain how to pronounce his name and start working. No hand shake “getting to know you tour.” This ship is sinking, he needs to start bailing fast.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

I like that idea of 1:00 PM times again. It does clash with other conferences, and I would not be opposed to noon kickoffs, so when the viewer is ready to leave a game in another conference that has become out-of-hand….they have a football option to switch stations to.

More Friday games, and let’s add Thursday to it!


I LOVE the idea of 1 pm kickoff times, and I’d be happy with 11 am, noon, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm start times too. I’d even be okay with 9 am or 10 am, but then I live in Eugene and am up early every day anyway, and I realize that for people who are out of town a 9 am start time would not be convenient, to say the least.

I do not like night games. They end so late, in part because with the 7pm-8pm start-time games TV is not worried about running into the next game, so they pack in more commercials, which makes the game end even later and later. I wish there would be a rule that no team would have more than 2 home games that start later than 6 pm. When away games start late, at least I can be in my jammies with a 20-second walk to bed when the game ends.


TV, TV, TV!!
If we can get a network to show the games against other networks…!!!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

First, a league policy is established and announced about how stadiums in the conference will be operated this fall with COVID.

Then, a media campaign in the states of Washington, Oregon and California that appeals logically to the populace about following the data and science–that makes it harder for state and county entities to “do-their-own-thing.” By September, any new COVID cases will be among those who have chosen to forgo the inoculations, thus the states must be pressured to let COVID run its course as shutdowns accomplish nothing in that scenario, IMHO.

The Pac-12 Network needs to be offered as almost a give-away to all media companies, cable and satellite in a short two year deal. Get the network into the homes, and then increase the price in the next contract.

The Pac-12 Network needs to be run correctly, as listings do not match programming and key athletic events in some states are not available.

And I agree with you Ryan….if we have to play more games at 9:00 AM in the morning, then everyone in the league needs to do it. This is not a moment for comfort; this is a moment to save the conference.

David Marsh

Getting the Pac-12 network in as many homes as possible will help greatly with the add revenue generated from the network. More eyeballs will mean more money. Even if they are giving the network away at a loss in the short run.

It will also help to elevate the status of the Pac-12 as more people will really get a look at Pac-12 play. It wont fix the Pac-12 but it would be a great firs step.

Santa Rosa Duck

Leaving San Francisco to lower expenses will not be easy. I assume they have a long term Lease. The commercial office market in the City is a bloodbath. They would have to relocate somewhere, probably in California and then attempt to sublease their current space and it would have to be deeply discounted. Probably staying in San Francisco is in the cards for a while.


Agree with Smith72, spend less and then I would add, bring in more. The formula of working hard and smart is the one I advocate for. The previous clown’s formula was look arrogant, and talk the talk, time for action.

On a lighter side I would bring in Bill Walton to the tv contract negotiations. By the time the negotiations were over the Pac-12 would get whatever it wanted, just get that guy out of here!


Lead by example!

Move the headquarters and network out of the most expensive city on the West coast. Fly commercial! Stay at a Holiday Inn!

Spend time with the coaches and LISTEN to them!

The list goes on…


He’s already done the first things. Project leadership. State that changes will be made. Communicate that coaches and AD’s are important and pivotal while reaching out to embrace them.

Most important, to recognize that Football pulls the load for the conference and revenues are paltry compared to leading conferences.

Conference revenue for FY20:
Big Ten: $768.9 million
SEC: $728.9 million
Pac-12: $533.8 million
ACC: $496.7 million
Big 12: $409.2 million