Saturday Night Lights: Arizona, ASU carry the load when it comes to Pac-12 night games

The speculation and anecdotal evidence isn’t merely dead on. It’s dead-of-night on:

Arizona has, officially and indisputably, played more night games than any program in the Pac-12 since the current television agreement began in 2012.

The Hotline obtained (courtesy of the conference office) a breakdown of night games for each team for the past eight years.

Yes, they track such matters at Pac-12 HQ — they track them very closely, in fact, and strive for equity.

Duane Lindberg, the longtime associate commissioner for TV, has compiled loads of logistical information from his years working closely with ESPN, Fox and the Pac-12 Networks.

Lindberg discussed the scheduling process … the night games, the 6- and 12-day selection process, all of it … during an hour-long podcast with the Hotline that will be published later this week.

A portion of our conversation zeroed in on night games.

A portion of that portion was devoted to the Arizona schools, to September heat, and to the late starts in Tucson and Tempe.

According to Lindberg, the Wildcats have played 36 night games over the course of the current TV deal; the Sun Devils have played 32; nobody else has played more than 28.

And there’s a reason:

Conference policy forbids ESPN and Fox from scheduling day games on the Arizona campuses in August and September.

There are exceptions, but only if the networks request an exemption and the host school approves, Lindberg said.

“It’s strictly a campus decision,” he added.

Such was the case Sept. 26, 2015, when the Wildcats played host to UCLA at 5 p.m.

Official temperature in Arizona Stadium at kickoff: 97 degrees.

“It wasn’t one of our finer moments with our TV partners,” Lindberg told me during the recorded conversation.

“If we get the request, we’ll go to the campus and say we’ve had the request, and they (the schools) have to weigh it from the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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