College football season kicks off today, but you may not be able to see your team play if you are a Pac-12 fan. The brand-spanking new network debuted on August 15th, but agreements with several big cable and satellite companies are still being worked out. If you want to watch the Pac-12 Network, what are your options?
Cable television providers have led the way with the conference. Big players Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communication all signed on with the Pac-12 Network in late July, ensuring they would be able to offer their customers the channel from its launch date which was August 15th. If you have satellite television, or a telco TV service like Verizon FiOS, then it looks like you will not see the network this weekend, unless the proverbial Hail Mary is completed in the next day or two.
There seems to be no sense of urgency between the Pac-12 and DIRECTV – the largest satellite television broadcaster. Jon Wilner of the MercuryNews reports:
There will be no carriage deal this week between the Pac-12 and DirecTV.
The same goes for Charter and Verizon — no deals this week — but there’s still a chance that Dish Network and AT&T will jump on board before kickoff Thursday.
What happened with the Pac-12 and DirecTV?
According to an industry source, talks were progressing until this week, when DTV apparently decided that there wasn’t enough interest in the Pac-12 games currently scheduled for the national and regional networks. (Telling comment here from a DTV spokesman.)
One source used the word “impasse” when asked about the state of the negotiations.
Switching providers is usually the last resort, as customers don’t want to deal with the time and hassle of having a new service installed. But from this report, it sounds as if the parties on both sides are willing to wait things out a bit rather than striking a deal that they may regret later.
Watch: Introducing the Pac-12 Networks
What about DISH Network? Even less is being heard here when compared with DIRECTV. Of course DISH is already embroiled in a nasty national dispute with AMC Networks, and they may also be dropping the Big Ten Network this weekend if a deal isn’t hammered out. At this rate, there may come a time where DISH only offers half of the channels out there…
Telco TV providers AT&T and Verizon also service large areas of Los Angeles and San Diego. If the Pac-12 doesn’t reach a deal with any of these providers by the weekend, millions of football fans will miss out on the opening week of college football.