Pac-12 Network 'interested' in domestic OTT, but not anytime soon

SAN FRANCISCO--The Pac-12 Network will enter its fourth college football season without carriage on DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) and without an OTT option available for displaced viewers in the United States.

Speaking to FierceCable here at the TV of Tomorrow conference, Ryan Currier, head of digital products at Pac-12 Networks, said the regional sports network is still waiting for AT&T (NYSE: T) to close its $49 billion purchase of DirecTV before taking action on those topics. 

The regional sports network, owned by the Pac-12 athletic conference, has a carriage agreement with AT&T U-verse but has not had one with the No. 2 pay-TV operator in the U.S., DirecTV, since launching in the fall of 2012.

Currier would not speculate as to when the RSN would debut in current DirecTV satellite TV homes following the close of the AT&T deal. 

But he did say that Pac-12 Networks is "interested" in developing streaming platforms. However, Currier said the RSN's carriage agreements with pay-TV operators including AT&T, Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) restrict it from launching a stand-alone streaming service in the U.S. Pac-12 currently has agreements overseas to stream content on YouTube, and it also recently launched an a la carte service for college campuses.

Despite a reported price point of around 80 cents per subscriber, DirecTV continues to resist a Pac-12 Networks deal, even though it has reached an agreement to deliver the new ESPN-backed SEC Network nationally.

Individuals with knowledge of DirecTV's thinking say the operator is concerned about the quality of Pac-12 football games that are not already covered by national networks such as ESPN. 

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