Pac-12 Net deal with DirecTV not even a ‘reasonable possibility’ as RSN begins fifth year without carriage agreement


The Pac-12 Network is kicking off its fifth year without a carriage agreement with DirecTV, and prospects for a resolution appear further away than ever.

Indeed, after apparently getting close to a deal at this time last year, going into the regional sports network’s fifth fall of highly rated college football coverage, analysts and pundits don’t think a deal is even close this time. 

The standoff between the RSN, launched in August 2012, and the satellite operator remains one of the most protracted and frustrating impasses in the pay-TV ecosystem. 

Sponsored by Google Cloud

Webinar: Remote Post Production In The Cloud

Video production companies across the world have traditionally been tethered to physical facilities, but with the advent of covid-19, remote post production capabilities are more important than ever. Join this webinar to learn more about how video producers can utilize Google Cloud infrastructure, along with partner applications, to develop a remote post production suite that brings your artists and editors together, no matter where they are.

Through his “Hotline” column, the San Jose Mercury News’ Josh Wilner has been perhaps the closest observer of the dispute. 

“In past years, the Hotline advised Pac-12 fans to be cautiously optimistic when the season approached and negotiations with DirecTV heated up,” Wilner said this week. “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.”

While AT&T has a legacy deal to carry Pac-12 Network on U-verse, its demands for DirecTV remain high, Wilnder said.

A demand for “campus-wide” rights to Pac-12 member schools was rejected by nearly all 12 conference universities last year, for example. 

In prior conversations, DirecTV reps have told FierceCable that the channel is demanding too high of a carriage fee, given that most of the Pac-12’s coveted football and basketball games are carried by national outlets like Fox Sports 1. 

While West Coast college sports fans wait for the RSN to show up on the program guide of one of the region’s biggest pay-TV operators, Pac-12 does have one carriage agreement to toot its marching band over.

The conference just announced a multi-year deal with Fox Sports Australia to televise 13 football games (one per week) and 21 men’s basketball games annually, including eight from the conference tournament.

For more:
- read this San Jose Mercury News story

Related articles:
Pac-12 Network chief says talks with DirecTV are dead
Pac-12 Networks flips feeds on Comcast, puts national channel on basic tier
DirecTV reportedly testing Pac-12 Network; 3-year-old carriage impasse could end by Sept. 3


Suggested Articles

Sling this week announced a feature that integrates free, local over-the-air broadcast channels into the Sling TV guide on some 2020 LG smart TVs.

NBCUniversal’s entertainment business is getting new management and a new org chart that will further emphasize its shift toward streaming.

An executive order issued by President Trump late Thursday would ban business with ByteDance’s TikTok app 45 days after its issuance.