‘Full Court Friday’ Plan Packs 10 Pac-12 Games Into 6 Hours

Pac-12 Networks is preparing to play NFL Red Zone with the tipoff of the conference’s men’s basketball season.

On “Full Court Friday,” the programmer on Nov. 14 will present 10 basketball games over six hours, including five in the same window. (The only schools not playing that day are USC and Washington State.)

The games also will be open to all via streaming on the Pac-12 Networks site, http://pac-12.com/networks.

First up at 5 p.m. (all times PT) is No. 2 Arizona hosting Mount Saint Mary’s, on the national service and five of the six regionals. Drexel-Colorado airs on Pac-12 Mountain.

The 7 p.m. window features host Ashley Adamson hosting a wraparound session — a la NFL Red Zone — on the main channel and five games playing across the varied regionals.

Another stream will feature the studio, pre- and postgame coverage, putting seven feeds into play.

A tripleheader at 9 p.m. will serve as the nightcap.

Pac-12 Networks has presented 10 events in a day before, but never in such a tight time frame.

“We’ve been planning this for months,” Leon Schweir, senior vice president of production, told The Wire. “With this many contests, we had to make decisions about resources and if there were enough vendor trucks to produce the games on-site.”

All told, Pac-12 Networks is marshalling some 400 people, at the programmer’s technical operations center in San Francisco and at the various game sites, Schweir said.

If it all works out, it could become the tip-off template.

“In the past, a school looked to a date that would draw attention to its own team,” Schweir said. “But working together, we may be able to make a bigger splash and create more awareness as a league than as individual teams.”

“Full Court Friday” also serves as a calling card for potential subscribers. “There are a lot of Pac-12 fans and alumni outside the [conference] footprint. This basketball showcase may encourage those who have access to Pac-12 Networks to switch providers,” Schweir said.

Something to Chew on In CNN’s Virtual Senate

CNN can’t be accused of not going for verisimilitude in its “virtual Senate” set, a computer- generated spitting image of the real one, down to the, well, read on.

During its election night coverage, The Wire noticed that CNN’s virtual set of the Senate chamber — Tom Foreman is shown walking the faux floor — featured what appeared to be virtual spittoons clearly visible between desks in the chamber.

Was that an on-air “plug” — pause to let the laughter subside — for Beech-Nut or Apple Jack?

Or perhaps a nod to the comment by the late vice president and longtime member of Congress, John “Cactus Jack” Garner, that the former job was not worth a container worth of warm spit — pause while the groans subside.

Apparently not.

Given that spittoons are still actually spread out throughout the Senate chamber, they appear in the virtual one as a nod to “tradition” and “historical significance,” a CNN rep told The Wire.

C-SPAN (who else would one ask?) confirmed that spittoons remain on the floor. At least two of them are in the front row where the leadership resides.

— John Eggerton