DirecTV and Pac-12 Network Still Yards Apart in Negotiations
The battle between DirecTV and the Pac-12 Network is heating up even more than before. At risk for viewers is the ability to watch their favorite sporting events, especially football that is so prevalent this time of year. At risk for DirecTV is losing potentially thousands of viewers who may cancel or not renew their deals with the satellite provider as they seek out other providers who have reached deals with the network and will be showing the big games this weekend. At risk for Pac-12 is that their hardline approach in dealing with the situation could ultimately backfire on them.
While Pac-12 has reached agreements with Dish TV and the big cable companies, including Comcast and Cox, as well as almost 40 other cablers, DirecTV is holding out, claiming the cost is too high. Pac-12 is fighting back, arguing that how could it be too much if Dish and the cable companies are willing to pay the price.
The hardball tactics by both sides could result in one or both entities being very unhappy. For example, if Pac-12 can stir up the fans enough to really leave DirecTV, the monetary loss could hurt the satellite company deeply. On the other hand, the longer the negotiations draw out and the more important games pass, the better the chances are that DirecTV could pass on Pac-12 altogether, at least until the price comes down. If that works, that could endanger Pac-12's power when they have to renew with the other providers.
What it all boils down to right now is that fans may not get to see the action on DirecTV this weekend unless a deal is struck. The Saturday schedule for the Pac-12 providers includes Houston at UCLA, Tennessee Tech at Oregon, and South Carolina at Arizona. If things don't improve, then next week's USC-California game could become a victim of the battle as well. Down the road, basketball could become affected, too.
Some reports claim Pac-12 is asking for more than 80 cents per subscriber from its providers. Others say that price is exaggerated. Pac-12 says the fact that it has so many deals in place proves their asking price is indeed fair market. DirecTV disagrees. Meanwhile, the viewers are the victims, sandwiched between two TV giants on a gridiron of money with no resolution in sight.