SALT LAKE CITY — More Pac-12 history for the Utah Utes. A year after facing USC in the expanded conference's first football game, the Utes have been chosen to kick things off on the new Pac-12 Networks. Their season-opener against Northern Colorado on Thursday, Aug. 30, will be the company's initial football broadcast. Kickoff is set for 5:15 p.m. The game will be part of a doubleheader, capped by Arizona State vs. Northern Arizona.
"Putting our first schedule together required a lot of flexibility and cooperation from all of our schools," Pac-12 Enterprises president Gary Stevenson said in making the announcement. "Utah was especially helpful by moving the start time of their home opener to give us a great doubleheader to launch our networks."
In a released statement, Utah athletics director Chris Hill noted that a committee was formed to ensure that the early start time would not negatively impact students and faculty on campus.
"While the early kickoff will present some difficulties, we plan to minimize those as much as possible," Hill said.
No class schedules will be disrupted and additional parking will be made available on grass fields east of the Alumni House to offset lot closures.
"Playing in the inaugural Pac-12 Network game is an honor for our program and one more benefit of being a member of the Pac-12 Conference," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham noted in the official announcement. "Any time we have the opportunity to play on national television it is good exposure for our university and gives recruits all across the country a chance to watch us play."
Game times for other games were also announced. The Utah-Utah State game in Logan on Friday, Sept. 7 will start at 6 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN 2. The Utes' homecoming game against BYU on Saturday, Sept. 15 is set to begin at 8 p.m. (ESPN2), while the USC game on Thursday, Oct. 4 game will kick off at 7 p.m. ESPN will carry it. In addition, the regular-season finale at Colorado on Friday, Nov. 23 is slated for 1 p.m., with the television network to be determined 6-12 days in advance.