As we enter the fifth year of operation for the Pac-12 Networks, they plug on without the one major pay television provider that has refused to carry it. DirecTV continues its refusal to pick it up and appears in no hurry to get back to the bargaining table to end the standoff.
Last year, there seemed to be optimism as DirecTV went so far to even conduct a signal test for Pac-12 Network. Signal tests normally pave the way for eventual carriage, but a last-minute snag over cost ended any possibility that the channel would be seen on DirecTV systems.
Now as the first regular season weekend of college football is mostly in the books, there doesn’t seem to be any resolution in sight to end what has become one of the longest pay TV disputes.
The interesting thing is that DirecTV owner, AT&T has a deal with the Pac-12 for U-Verse systems, but could not get together in 2015 and it certainly looks that way now. DirecTV contends that Pac-12’s per subscriber is too high. Plus the satellite company contends that Pac-12 fans can turn to ESPN and FS1 for a majority of conference football and basketball games.
And in the wake of the Pac-12 signing a deal to show its games in Australia, fans in the U.S. are wondering when there will be a deal to show the games on DirecTV.
The San Jose Mercury News’ Jon Wilner expressed skepticism in his “College Hotline” column that for the potential of any deal any time soon:
In past years, the Hotline advised Pac-12 fans to be cautiously optimistic when the season approached and negotiations with DirecTV heated up.
That was, in part, because some of my best sources on such matters were either 1) expecting a carriage deal or 2) felt it was a reasonable possibility.
Not this year.
The sentiment has shifted: Nobody expects a deal and many don’t even consider it a reasonable possibility.
And by stating that it’s not even “a reasonable possibility” it makes even the most optimistic fan quite depressed that DirecTV won’t be picking up the channel.
So as this standoff now enters half a decade, it appears that neither side is willing to budge and neither side wants to give even a tiny inch to get a deal done.