Pac-12 Networks has partnered with technology company Synacor to offer a la carte multiscreen services to students on select conference campuses.
Under the initiative, students at UCLA, Arizona State and Washington can watch the regional sports network via laptops, tablets and smartphones by using their university identification to authenticate themselves.
The move broadens the reach of the two-year-old RSN, which has been unable to reach a carriage agreement with one of the dominant pay-TV providers on the West Coast, DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV).
"Being owned by universities gives us direct access to all the Pac-12 universities and students. This allows us numerous opportunities to utilize new technology and develop innovative solutions to deliver Pac-12 Networks programming to our passionate fans," Pac-12 Networks president Lydia Murphy-Stephans said in a statement. "Through our partnership with Synacor, we're excited to give Pac-12 students who live on campus the ability to watch the Pac-12 Networks anywhere, anytime and on any device."
Separately, Pac-12 Networks PR staffers released a memo this week, outlining all the dramatic college football performances that have taken place on the network this fall. Among the highlights: Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday's record-breaking 734 passing performance against Cal; Arizona's Hail Mary to defeat Cal; and the record-breaking duel between Cal QB Jared Goff and his Colorado counterpart, Sefo Liufau.
So why is any of this notable in a trade publication covering pay-TV? Well, it proves a larger point put forth by DirecTV, which refuses to carry the RSN despite the fact that it's asking for less money than similarly scoped RSNs built around college conferences, such as the Big Ten Network and the SEC Network.
In each of the games highlighted in the Pac-12 Networks memo, none of the teams were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 at game time. DirecTV has complained that any Pac-12 game with national relevance winds up on a national network like ESPN.
- read this Pac-12 Networks press release
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