Monday, December 19, 2011
Pac-12 Network continues to build
By ESPN.com staff
The Pac-12 Network announced the hiring of Leon Schweir as its Senior Vice President of Production and Operations on Monday. Schweir was one of the key players during the launch of the Big Ten Network.
From the official release:
With a complicated broadcast schedule that will include 850 live events across all 12 Pac-12 campuses, the Pac-12 Network has named highly experienced television veteran Leon Schweir as its Senior Vice President of Production and Operations, it was announced today.
During his 30 years in television production and management, Schweir has experience in launching new networks and has a proven track record of delivering high profile and multi-platform programming with extensive production requirements. He will oversee all remote and studio production and operations for the Pac-12 Networks.
“Leon is a really good fit for us as we create and build six regional and one national network,” Pac-12 Networks Executive Vice President and General Manager Lydia Murphy-Stephans said. “Leon has an extensive background in regional and national cable. As one of the key members of the senior management team that successfully launched the Big Ten Network, he has great relevant experience. We’re excited to have him join our team.”
Schweir spent 25 years in production and programming with Madison Square Garden Networks, including 18 years as a producer and director for New York Rangers, Knicks and Yankees telecasts. From 1997-2000, Schweir was coordinating producer and was responsible for delivering more than 300 live events per year for the Networks. In 2000, he was elevated to Executive Producer/Vice President of Programming and spent six years overseeing the programming for two regional sports networks (MSG Network and FSN New York) and creating more than 150 hours of original series programming annually.
In 2007, Schweir became the second employee of the Big Ten Network when he was named Executive Producer/Vice President of Production. He played a vital role in launching the new network, including hiring studio, remote and technical operations personnel that was responsible for producing more than 450 sporting events and 300 hours of live studio programming in year one. He left Big Ten Network in 2009 for Versus and Comcast SportsNet/NBC Universal where he served as Executive Producer/Senior Vice President of Production and Planning.
“To be able to build something like this from scratch is an extremely exciting opportunity,” Schweir said. “We are creating seven networks with an aggressive digital plan, something that has never been done before. It will allow me to take all of the lessons I have learned throughout my career and apply them to this new venture. I’m excited to have the opportunity to help build something so unique in its scope.”
In July, the Pac-12 announced the creation of Pac-12 Networks, which will include a national network and six regional networks, in conjunction with four of the nation's largest cable operators: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks. The innovative arrangement, set to begin in August 2012, marks the first time a U.S. collegiate conference or any other programmer has launched a collection of networks across a variety of platforms rather than a sole network. And it includes “TV everywhere” rights, permitting the networks to be viewed outside customers’ homes on any digital device, such as smartphones and tablet computers, creating a virtual “Pac-12 Everywhere.”
The Pac-12 Networks will provide unprecedented exposure for the Conference’s athletic and academic programs, producing a total of 850 live events annually – 350 on the national feed and AN ADDITIONAL 500 on the regional feeds -- including every football game and every men’s basketball game that isn’t carried by national telecast partners ESPN and FOX. Additional events will include spring football, and every sport played by Pac-12 programs including all conference championships.