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July 19, 2012

Cisco News - Pac-12 Networks Call in Cisco's Videoscape to Score Streaming Touchdown

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

This August will witness a great day for sports fans everywhere. The Pac-12 Networks will launch and bring sports fans hundreds of live sporting events from the 12 colleges that make up the Pac-12 alliance. But in the process, the Pac-12 Networks will be forming a new alliance of their own to make that happen, with no less a figure than Cisco (News - Alert).

Cisco's Videoscape Origination Suite, comprised of Cisco's PowerVu video processor and distributor and their Digital Content Manager, among other components, will be the primary backbone of the Pac-12 Networks' system, running the entire show from, literally, start to finish. Cisco systems will handle all the necessary tasks of the network, from data routing and switching to encoding and transcoding to even distributing, getting the video from Pac-12's studios in San Francisco to the thousands of eager sports fans dying for a shot of extra sports.

Pac-12 Network will be available on a wide variety of television providers, including Comcast, Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, and several others. The service will launch August 15, and is expected to put up fully 850 live sporting events every year, with 35 football games and over 130 men's basketball games. The Pac-12 Network will not only be one national network, but a series of six regional networks as well, to provide the best mix of content to its viewers. They completed a successful signal test on Monday, and the Cisco framework means they'll be able to not only deliver HD content, but do so with surround sound audio for the best viewing experience.

On the one hand, this is great news. A new sports provider is undoubtedly a welcome treat for those who have cable and wish it had a better presence in college sports, which are currently a bit limited, ESPNU notwithstanding. The bad news is that this appears to be strictly a cable offering, meaning those who were hoping for a reason to cut the cable and go to online viewing sources will continue to be underserved. This is likely something of a bid to preserve the status quo, though if cable providers are willing to provide more value to their users, then that's more than good enough. After all, the point of cutting the cable is a bid to find better value, and if cable companies want to make their offering more attractive, then more power to them.

Either way, though, sports fans will be getting something they'll no doubt welcome in the very near future, and the Pac-12 Network, powered by Cisco, will be providing that something rather well.

To find out more about David Tucker, Vice President and General Manager Small Business Business Unit (SBBU), and Cisco, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Tucker will be a keynote speaker at the event. For more information on ITEXPO West 2012 click here.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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