DirecTV remains one of the last holdouts to pick up the Pac-12 Networks. Ever since Pac-12 Networks launched in 2012, DirecTV has remained steadfast in refusing to carry them. DirecTV’s management’s has said that if it were to pick up Pac-12 Networks, its fees would have to decrease and it would to accept being on a sports tier.
But now that DirecTV has been purchased by AT&T, the Pac-12 is hoping that stance will soften. One reason is that AT&T’s U-Verse carries Pac-12 Networks and the company is a corporate sponsor of several member schools.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that DirecTV and the Pac-12 have begun informal talks since the AT&T acquisition and conference commissioner Larry Scott is hoping that leads to a formal agreement in time for football season which begins on September 3.
According to the Tribune, an agreement would open up a huge audience for the networks:
There are more than 4 million DirecTV subscribers in the seven most populous Western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Pac-12 Networks launched in 2011, and it has never been available on DirecTV.
Three U.S. Senators, Nevada’s Dean Heller, Oregon’s Ron Wyden and Utah’s Orrin Hatch have written a letter to AT&T and the Pac-12 urging the two sides to resolve the issue that has left Pac-12 fans in the lurch since August 2012.
“Beyond the burden and frustration placed on our fans in our states who are not able to watch their favorite teams compete,” it says, “we are also increasingly concerned about the potential long-term damage to our states’ flagship universities, which count on Pac-12 Networks to promote the university, its student athletes and its athletic programs.”
In addition, DirecTV has had an agreement with the Big Ten Network since 2007 and picked up the SEC Network last year while leaving the Pac-12 Networks in the dark. The Pac-12 hopes a change in ownership at DirecTV will be the impetus it needs to finally get on-board with the satellite provider.