DIRECTV to Pac 12 Network: You Want All Or Nothing
Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2013) - This is an update to our earlier coverage of the DIRECTV-Pac 12 Network programming dispute. (See earlier article below.)
For several weeks, DIRECTV's web site, DIRECTVPromise.com, publicly ignored the satcaster's fee fight with the Pac 12 Network. While DIRECTVPromise.com was established by DIRECTV to communicate the latest in programming disputes to their subscribers, the company decided more than two months ago to omit any reference to the Pac 12 Network at the site.
DIRECTV apparently was so angry with Pac 12 Network officials' highly-publicized effort to coerce it to add the channel that it decided to turn its back on them.
That is, until now. DIRECTV has quietly added a statement to DIRECTVPromise.com that explains its stance in the controversy. And it is not exactly an olive branch. DIRECTV says the PAC 12 Network is insisting that the channel be included in a DIRECTV programming bundle while DIRECTV wants to offer it as a separate channel with a separate fee.
"Pac 12 continues to cling to its ‘all or nothing’ strategy, insisting that every one of our customers foot the bill for the network when only a fraction of them have expressed any interest in the network at all," the statement reads. "The fact is, we want fans of the Pac 12 to see every game on DIRECTV, which is why we’ve asked the conference to let us offer the network to those who want to pay for it. Where pricey sports networks are concerned, we believe our customers should have the opportunity to choose and get the best value for their money. We can reach an agreement quickly if Pac 12 is willing to give customers that choice at a reasonable price."
It doesn't sound like the two sides will be reaching an agreement anytime soon, which means that DIRECTV viewers this fall will be unable to see the Pac 12 Network's broadcasts of college football and basketball.
Dish, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox have agreed to carry the regional sports channel.
There was not word this morning from the Pac 12 Network on DIRECTV's latest statement.
See our earlier coverage of this issue below.
New Pac 12 Network Prez: Drop DIRECTV!
Washington, D.C. (May 27, 2013) - This is an update to our earlier coverage of the DIRECTV-Pac 12 Network programming dispute. (See earlier article below.)
Late last month, the Pac 12 Network replaced its president, Gary Stevenson, with Lydia Murphy-Stephans, who had worked in network sports since 1986 and had won 24 Emmys. The speculation was that Murphy-Stephans might be able to use her vast experience and contacts to persuade DIRECTV to carry the regional sports channel.
However, if Murphy-Stephans' initial comments on the dispute are any indication, DIRECTV and the Pac 12 Network remain far apart and the new president is having no success getting the satcaster to meet her half-way.
Murphy-Stephans tells the Seattle Times that Pac 12 Network fans have an "obligation" to drop DIRECTV to pressure the satellite service to carry the channel.
"There's an obligation as fans, that if they want Pac 12 Networks and DIRECTV is not carrying the Pac 12 Networks, the fan has to be willing to drop DIRECTV and pick up a carrier that is," she said.
Murphy-Stephans, who has worked with the Pac 12 Network since 2011 as general manager, added program distribution to her plate when she assumed the president's role. She is now responsible for getting TV providers to carry the Pac 12 Network, but with Dish, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox already signed up, DIRECTV is her principle target.
But it appears that it's an elusive target as well.
"It's a very difficult and complicated business and I am in the trenches with it," she told the newspaper. "Fans just can't hang onto DIRECTV and put all the onus on the Pac 12. We can offer it and provide DIRECTV with a very fair business offer...but we can't force DIRECTV to take it."
DIRECTV reportedly wants to offer the channel as a separate channel, which would require a separate monthly fee, rather than in a program package. The Pac 12 prefers the package because it means more viewers and, consequently, more ad dollars.
DIRECTV does not seem to be feeling any heat from its subscribers or the Pac 12's PR camapign. DIRECTVPromise.com, the satcaster's web site that was created to communicate the latest in programming arguments, doesn't even mention the Pac 12 Network on its Sports disputes page. CSN Houston, which DIRECTV is also refusing to carry due to a disagreement over compensation, is listed, but not the Pac 12 Network.
See our April 30, 2013 article on this subject below.
Washington, D.C. (April 30, 2013) - The fee fight between DIRECTV and the Pac 12 Network seems to have no end in sight. In fact, DIRECTV has put the regional sports network entirely 'out of sight' on its DIRECTVPromise.com page.
DIRECTVPromise.com, the satcaster's web site that was created to communicate the latest in programming arguments, doesn't even mention the Pac 12 Network on its Sports disputes page. CSN Houston, which DIRECTV is also refusing to carry due to a disagreement over compensation, is listed, but not the Pac 12 Network.
The Pac 12 Network, which airs college basketball and football games from the conference, has been on the air since August and signed carriage deals with a host of providers including Dish, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox.
But DIRECTV's 20 million audience has been an elusive target for the regional sports network and the fact that the satcaster has dropped the channel from its disputes page probably is not a positive sign for current negotiations.
In addition, Multichannel News reports that the Pac 12 Network is replacing the president of Pac 12 Enterprises, a pivotal position in negotiating carriage agreements. The publication did not link the exit of the former president, Gary Stevenson, with the network's inability to land a deal with DIRECTV, but it noted that his replacement, Lydia Murphy-Stephans, has worked in network sports since 1986 and has won 24 Emmys.
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