We’ve covered the travails of the Pac-12 Network’s efforts to get carried on DirecTV since 2012 and every year, it’s been the same thing. DirecTV balks at bringing Pac-12 Network and its multiple channels on board, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott laments not being distributed by the satelllite provider, and the trains shall never meet.
In a recent interview with Seattle radio station KJR, Scott was asked whether fans will ever see the Pac-12 Networks on DirecTV and he was rather blunt:
“That’s the way it looks. I’ve got no reason to believe that’s going to change. We’ve tried a lot of different angles with them, including a relationship with AT&T and offering benefits on campuses, and that hasn’t gotten it done.”
When AT&T purchased DirecTV in 2015, there was optimism that things could change as the company had a sponsorship deal with the Pac-12 and its U-Verse systems carried the networks. There was even a signal test that was caught by sharp-eyed viewers, but talks collapsed and there’s no sign that the two sides will ever get close again.
Even without DirecTV, Scott told host Dave “Softy” Mahler that he’s happy where the networks are, but things could be better:
“Very satisfied with a lot of what’s been achieved … but it hasn’t reached its full potential. We haven’t gotten full distribution — most notably on DirecTV — and, related, we haven’t generated as much money as is possible.”
Translation: The Pac-12 Network isn’t making as much money as the Big Ten Network and SEC Network, and will remain behind as long as it isn’t on DirecTV. With the ACC Network ready to launch next year, Pac-12 Network could find itself falling behind a third league-centric channel, all of which have partnered with either ESPN or Fox and have gotten maximum distribution for their bucks.
Pac-12 is going it alone and by not partnering with ESPN, Fox or even NBC, it’s finding the sledding rather tough and member schools have complained about the lack of revenue as compared to the Big Ten and SEC.
Just where this will lead, no one knows. But Larry Scott is aware that despite going all in with Pac-12 Networks, the potential of the channels has yet to be reached, which is leaving fans and member schools in the lurch.