The Pac-12 Network is experimenting with ideas to try and retain viewership. It might come at the expense of Cal Band and other college bands.
The Pac-12 will reduce halftimes and commercial breaks on their national network to try and cut down on rising college football times. 20-minute halftimes will now be 15 and there will be fewer TV timeouts for stoppages in play.
Halftimes will be reduced to 15 minutes from 20. Scott said he spoke with coaches around the conference when looking into the matter.
“I was delighted to hear our coaches feel like 20 minutes is more than you need from a student-athlete’s health and rest — and X’s and O’s — perspective,” Scott said.
The move is in part to help maintain viewer interest — “You could lose as much as 30% of the TV audience at halftime,” Scott said — and that ESPN provided research. An NFL game typically lasts three hours, but Pac-12 games can lag for 3½ hours. And many Pac-12 games also are at night Pacific Time, which can run really late for East Coast audiences.
What does that mean for the California Golden Bears marching band? Could the halftime show be cut in running length?
Cal halftime shows are pretty close to 10–12 minutes in length, so this will be pretty close to the limit. Considering Cal likes to run other halftime sponsorships during that time, we might see an uncomfortable cutting of the band show.