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Pac-10's TV contract with the Fair and Balanced Network ...

So the Pac-10 recently extended its contract with FSN through 2012 season, which will allow it retain exclusive national rights on broadcasting the league's game. JD over at BruinHoopScoop already expressed his reservations about this deal. However, Greg Hansen of Arizona Daily Star argues that the Pac-10 Commissioner's hands are a tied because DSPN is already too wedded to ACC programs not being able to give Pac-10 any prime time slots in its national coverage. Hansen also reasons that Tom Hansen (the Pac-10 Commish) is guaranteeing the league tons of cash through this TV contract.

Well that could be the case. But I'd like to see a little more creative thinking from the Pac-10 and its team's PR offices to promote the basketball conference. JD makes the point over at BHS:

Regardless, I (and Olson) don't understand why we can't just get one high-profile conference game a week on ESPN, similar to the Big 12, which has a contract with FSN but still is featured on ESPN's Big Monday. I'm glad that the Pac-10 didn't cave in to ESPN and just sign some crappy deal, especially if it had meant playing games at terrible times, but as of now, the Pac-10 is regularly disdained or simply ignored on a regular basis by ESPN, which like it or not, is the undisputed king of college basketball broadcasting right now. I can only hope that 1) we will get some weekend games on ABC, which will force ESPN to pay attention to the conference, and 2) the Pac-10, in renewing its deal, was able to secure a guarantee of improved promotion from FSN, including more national broadcasts on the weekends (i.e. less Pac-10 men's games being pre-empted for women's Big 12 games in certain parts of the country). The conference and the individual schools, including UCLA, also need to do a better job of marketing themselves and the quality of basketball being played.
Well I think Coach Howland is doing his part working hard to schedule games which will increase our national exposure. We played in the Pre-Season NIT this past season, and Coach Howland has the team signed up to play in this year's Maui Classic featuring the top programs in the nation. We are also doing our share of high profile home and home games featuring teams from the Big East and the Big 10 (despite what the assclown Lavin has to say about our scheduling). But perhaps we can do more?

Perhaps the conference can set up high profile inter-conference matchups with the Big-12 teams rivaling the ACC/Big-10 challenge? What about exploring the options of broadcasting games online like CBS did during the tourney? Another idea to pursue (after 2011-12 season) is to perhaps set up a side deal with TBS or TNT like the football season. I love TBS's coverage of the football season (much better graphics and presentation than Fair and Balanced). And for God's sake perhaps FSN can put a little more pressure on FSN to hire more capable broadcasters and to provide better graphics during their broadcasts. On the other hand ... if we continue to advance on the trajectory Coach Howland has set up for our basketball program, we are going to serve notice with or without DSPN. We did it this past season (we were noticed enough that we earned the No. 2 seed out West, despite all the pro Gonzaga shenanigans out of DSPN) and we will continue to do so in these coming years. Let's just keep our fingers either AA or JF or both will be coming back this season.