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Jul
03
2017

Sixth Year – No Direct TV Deal for Pac-12 Network (h/t @AwfulAnnouncing)

Good morning, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.

We rarely talk about college sports networks outside of the ACC, but there’s been some pretty brutal assessments on the Pac-12 Network over at @AwfulAnnouncing that caught my eye:

It’s no secret that the Pac-12 conference does not boast the same television revenue as the Big Ten or SEC

But still, it was a bit surprising to hear outgoing Pac-12 Network president Lydia Murphy-Stephans bluntly admit that immutable reality during an interview with Cablefax.

There is a gap between what Pac-12 Networks delivers and the Big Ten Network and the SEC Network. What has to be factored in is the revenue specifically from Pac-12 Networks is only one part of the overall revenue each university receives from the Pac-12. I understand there is frustration, though no athletic director or administrator was ever told the Pac-12 Networks would deliver the same or more revenue than what its peer conferences are currently getting from their networks.

It’s particularly interesting that, per Murphy-Stephans, the Pac-12 Network was launched with the assumption it would never match its “peer conferences” in revenue.

Read that article further and you will find that some Pac-12 ADs were given a message that is completely contradictory from what Murphy-Stevens said – and you’ll note that she is stepping down as President of the Pac-12 Network to start a consulting firm – but you wonder if the inability to get a deal with Direct TV is part of that equation (h/t @AwfulAnnouncing).

But it’s been the same-old, same-old as to why DirecTV won’t pick up Pac-12 Networks. The satellite provider says the cost is too high and it doesn’t want to extend the bandwidth for the networks’ various regional channels. The Pac-12 says DirecTV is being unreasonable.

And with another college sports season approaching, there doesn’t seem to be any hope for Pac-12 fans that DirecTV will pick up the channel for 2017-18. And just like DirecTV’s long dispute with Spectrum SportsNet LA, there hasn’t been a mass migration for the company to justify picking up Pac-12 Networks.

Unless there’s a last-second breakthrough, this dispute will go into its sixth season (emphasis mine) and viewers will again be left in the middle.

Not having a major distribution partner was a critical implementation flaw for the Pac-12 Network.  We’ll see what happens in the future over at the Pac-12.

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