The Pac-12 has reached an agreement with one of the biggest media providers out there, and it’s still not DirecTV.
While the Pac-12 Network might never be available to DirecTV subscribers, the conference did announce a deal with SiriusXM for a new radio network, creatively titled “SiriusXM Pac-12 Radio”. The service is set to launch in early 2018, and according to the release:
The Pac-12 Conference and SiriusXM today announced a multiyear agreement to create the “SiriusXM Pac-12 Radio” channel, the first dedicated and exclusive radio channel for the Conference in its history. The channel will serve as the most in-depth audio platform covering the Conference, providing 24-7 programming for fans across the country that delivers Pac-12-focused news, an extensive schedule of live Pac-12 games, and exclusive original talk programming including live call-in shows.
While they’re obviously not quite direct competitors, SiriusXM actually boasts seven million or so more subscribers than DirecTV. The deal will see a permanent home on SiriusXM channel 373, and will seek to fill their daily 24 hours of programming in a few different ways, though the home run aspect is likely the live radio broadcasts:
The channel will include live play-by-play broadcasts of conference events, available on both the SiriusXM app and satellite radios, from many men’s and women’s sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball and more.
”We are excited to partner with one of the very best in sports radio in SiriusXM, which will support our mission to serve our fans across the country on all media platforms on which they follow Pac-12 sports with the highest quality and most comprehensive content,” said Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference. “Following on the heels of recent new and renewed partnerships for the Pac-12 Networks with both linear and over-the-top distributors, we remain committed to expanding the exposure and footprint of the Pac-12 member universities and student-athletes.”
In addition to live coverage of Pac-12 games, the channel will also offer a daily lineup that will include exclusive programming, plus coaches shows, access to press conferences, classic Pac-12 game broadcasts, coverage of Pac-12 Media Days, and curated, Pac-12-specific highlights.
It’s a likely boon to fans and alumni living outside the traditional regional footprint, especially those who can’t, you know, watch the games (legally) if they subscribe to DirecTV. It’s likely the network launches in time to capture some of the conference basketball season, as debuting a new college sports network in the spring, just ahead of summer, would seem particularly pointless.
That means a likely January or February launch. It could also lead to other conferences starting similar ventures, if it goes well. Though there is something inherently amusing about the Pac-12 ironing out a radio distribution deal before DirecTV.
Can you look forward and backward at the same time?