DirecTV/Pac-12 deal still looking unlikely

IT SEEMS LIKELY Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott will soon make an announcement, one that seems all but inevitable. With the season fast approaching, there appears little hope for an agreement between DirecTV and the Pac-12 Networks. If so, it will be the third year DirecTV subscribers will have to do without the 35 Pac-12 football games broadcast on the network, 4-6 of which could be Coug games.

The Pac-12 Networks will broadcast 13 live Pac-12 football games over the first three weeks of the season, more than ESPN and FOX combined.

All told, the Pac-12 Nets will air 35 Pac-12 home games this season, while ESPN and FOX Sports will combine to televise 45 games from Pac-12 sites, including the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Last year, the Cougs played four games on the Pac-12 Nets. Two years ago, the Cougs played half their schedule -- 6 games -- on the network.

The dispute between DirecTV and the Pac-12 is pretty straightforward.

DirecTV wants either a lower rate than Pac-12 Networks is charging their other partners, or to be able to offer it as an a la carte item (which would amount to less ad dollars to the Pac-12.) The Pac-12 has said they can't offer DirecTV such a sweetheart deal when everyone else has offered it as part of a regular programming package.

The proposed AT&T-DirecTV merger won't have an effect on the situation until next year at the earliest.

What could have an effect, however, is the new SEC Network launching this fall. The speculation has been if DirecTV picks up one, they won't pick up the other. But there are doubts on whether DirecTV will carry either the SEC Network or the Pac-12 Nets this year.

DirecTV does not appear close to an agreement with the SEC Network. Indeed, things seem to be playing out eerily similar to how it went with DirecTV and the Pac-12 Networks at the beginning. The SEC Network, owned by ESPN and the member schools, has been reportedly asking a comparatively high fee.

Only two carriers -- DISH and AT&T U-Verse (and some smaller providers) have thus far reached agreements to carry the SEC Network. The SEC Network says they expect to air 45 SEC Football games and 100 men’s basketball games their first year.

  • For anyone who will be switching to DISH in order to get the Pac-12 Networks: A reminder not to leave money on the table. Check with your friends and family who have Dish and have them give you a referral -- both you and they will receive an extra $50 discount, in addition to all the other discounts/deals for new customers. (And if you don't know anyone who has Dish, shoot us an email either on the CF.C forums through your Inbox in the upper right of the page, or by clicking HERE, and we'll get you someone who does so you and they can save the extra $50.)

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