Crimson Media Watch: DirecTV prospects are ..

WITH THE AGREEMENT Monday between DirecTV and the new SEC Network, it became even more certain DirecTV will not strike a deal with the Pac-12 Networks for 2014, industry watchers say. So if you're a Cougar fan with DirecTV, for the third year in a row you're not going to be able to watch Washington State or any other Pac-12 team when they play on the Pac-12 Networks.

This should come as no surprise. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott telegraphed there would be no DirecTV agreement at the recent Pac-12 Media Days: "You have to look at this based on where we'll be after 10 years," said Scott. "Not three."

Scott has remained firm on charging one set fee for all cable/satellite companies. When it launches Aug. 14, the SEC Network will charge one amount per subscriber per month in the states that comprise the league's footprint, and then less than that in other states.

There are other striking differences. The SEC Network is owned by ESPN, not the schools. The Pac-12 meanwhile has maintained full ownership of its networks. That means they keep all the profits and don't have to share them with a broadcast partner, potentially building more long-term profits and substantial equity over the long haul.

WSU was on the Pac-12 Networks four times last football season, and six times in 2012. The Pac-12 Networks will broadcast 13 live Pac-12 football games over the first quarter of the season, more than ESPN and FOX combined, and 35 Pac-12 games all told.

DirecTV wants a lower price than everyone else or to offer the Pac-12 a la carte. Neither option is palatable as either would cut into conference revenues. And no network in their right mind ever wants to be an a la carte option because you'll always be in far fewer homes than the other guys.

If you are planning on switching to DISH before the season, two things to keep in mind:

One, DISH is now offering all Pac-12 Networks programming in HD - the first two years, only the live events were in HD.

Two, if you switch don't 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 on DISH. (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.)

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE media dial, Fox has shaken up their college football announcing team and strategy. The Cougs were on the Fox family of networks four games last year, with four other games on ESPN channels.

As reported by Richard Deitsch in his always-excellent media column on Sports Illustrated, Fox has abandoned their Saturday morning pregame show after getting destroyed in the ratings by ESPN GameDay.

Fox will instead go with a 3:30 p.m. PT pregame broadcast most weeks leading into their primetime game. Rob Stone, Joel Klatt and new analyst Dave Wannstedt will be in the chairs. Erin Andrews is gone from the studio, headed to exclusively cover the NFL. Fox is also considering a Friday night pregame show on Fox Sports 1 that would include a segment on-site in Las Vegas focusing on gambling lines.

WHEN IT COMES to announcers, some are bad, some are decent and some are really good. Veteran Tim Brando, one of the really good play-by-play guys, is joining Fox and will call Thursday and Saturday games on Fox. He'll work with Klatt on Thursdays and new analyst Brady Quinn on Saturdays. Sideline reporter Molly McGrath has been promoted to the No. 1 broadcast team of Gus Johnson and Charles Davis.

College football print journalists Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel will have an expanded presence as combination web-television reporters. Joe Davis was hired away from ESPN to work with analyst Joey Harrington and sideline reporter Kris Budden. Former college football coaches Mack Brown and Butch Davis have joined ESPN as college football analysts.

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