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Barring a major miracle the Pac-12 Network will not be on DirecTV when they begin broadcasting live games this evening at 5:15 p.m. time when Utah takes on Northern Colorado. The latest move in gamesmanship came on the side of the Pac-12 who sent out an open letter urging fans to switch away from the satellite provider:
We've heard from thousands of DirecTV subscribers who don't receive Pac-12 Networks and wonder whether they'll miss out on their teams' most important games of the football season. We have worked around the clock to make sure that doesn't happen, but with only a few hours remaining before the kickoff of the season, we're writing to inform our fans that we do not have a distribution agreement with DirecTV.
This means Pac-12 fans who subscribe to DirecTV are in jeopardy of missing all 35 football games scheduled for broadcast on Pac-12 Networks, beginning Thursday night.
If you're one of the fans who won't be satisfied without Pac-12 football, or our more than 135 men's basketball games and hundreds of other live events, we recommend finding Pac-12 Networks with another television provider.
The good news is that most Pac-12 fans have options. These fans can switch their television service to one of the more than 30 distributors that offer Pac-12 Networks, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox. These providers offer Pac-12 Networks' full season lineup, including some of the most thrilling games of the season and TV Everywhere viewing online, on the iPad and on smartphones later in the season.
In just the first four weeks, Pac-12 Networks will feature all 12 schools, including appearances by #1 USC and two appearances by both #5 Oregon and #21 Stanford. Every weekend thereafter we will have at least two premiere conference matchups, all of which will have postseason implications.
DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer argued that the best games can be seen on the other networks that carry Pc-12 football:
"The vast majority of Pac-12 football games featuring the most popular teams with national-title implications remain available to all DirecTV customers through the ESPN family of networks and ABC Sports, Fox Sports and FSN, FX, CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network and several other regional services."
Safe to say that Mr. Mercer is not a college football fan because there are zero Pac-12 games on CBS or NBC Sports, and the game that are on CBS Sports are road games against Conference USA and Mountain West teams which account for just two of their games.
So for those who have DirecTV will have to find an alternate way to watch this weekends Pac-12 football games.
The reports surrounding every aspect of the Pac-12 Network and DirecTV are all across the board with no real answer. John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal provided some insight to about a potential DirecTV, and it does not look good for DirecTV subscribers.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) August 27, 2012
@raiderdan11 If DTV comes to a deal, it will be right before or right after the first weekend of live games and it will only be for 1 net.
After that tweet, Ourand even admits that this information was his guess. Guesses and speculation is what has been tossed around the past week, but the reality is that no one knows for sure what is going on inside the negotiations between DirecTV and the Pac-12.
If the network is not live this weekend then fans will miss five college football games that are to be broadcast on the Pac-12 National Network, including Northern Colorado vs. Utah on Thursday night.
While getting just the national network would be fine for most fans since it would host the important football and basketball games, but the Pac-12 prides itself as being the conference of champions. Most of the Olympic sports are to be on the regional networks, and once again would get lost if DirecTV does not have a package to let the fans decide if they want one or all of the regional networks.
So far everything is just a guess for when or in what capacity the Pac-12 Network(s) will be on DirecTV.
For more on the Pac-12 go check out Pacific Takes.
The reports about DirecTV and the Pac-12 Network have varied across the board from saying a deal is not close, to a deal could be done by Wednesday of this week, the network would be on a subscription-based channel and now back to where the story started by saying a deal may not be close.
Pac-12 Enterprises President Gary Stevenson offered an actual update about DirecTV:
"I wouldn't characterize it as close or imminent," Stevenson said, otherwise holding to his previous take that the content is appealing on the Networks, and "when fans want to have (good) content in today's television world, they get it."
The Pac-12 Network launched on Aug. 15 on many cable outlets, but DirecTV has still yet to agree to pick up the channel. The reports have been all over the place with the two sides no where near an agreement on Aug. 24, and then just one day later another report is saying a deal is possibly by Monday.
I cannot imagine the Pac-12 agreeing to terms that would not have the national network (and potentially the regional channels in the regional areas) available on the regular Sports Pack. Agreeing to have all the networks on a separate plan would be a lose-lose for just about everyone. The best possible solution is to have the national network on the Sports Pack and the This way the diehards can be appeased with the premium package and everyone who just wants the basic distribution to the big football and basketball matchups will also get what they want.
For more on the Pac-12 go check out Pacific Takes.
The Pac-12 Network is set to launch on Aug. 15 and as of now only Comcast, Cox, Time Warner and Brighthouse cable are scheduled to carry the network. Negotiations have been going on behind the scenes to get other cable and satellite providers on board to carry the network, but so far there has been no new provider to say that they will carry the channels.
DirectTV CEO Michael White talked about how their service is pushing back against rising content fees and that they are not afraid to go dark on certain channels in order to achieve their goal.
White did mention about the future of the Pac-12 Network on DirecTV briefly and the outcome looks grim:
In looking to rein in content fees, White said DirecTV isn't sure what it will do with the Pac-12 Network group. "We're not going to have seven channels -- I can assure you of that," he said.
For those who have DirecTV they are not going to like that statement, but a lot of times in launching a new channel these deals are not done until the last minute. Also hearing that White does not know what to do with the Pac-12 Network is also concerning. It could just be that he does not want to carry all seven channels nationally.
It is easy to see why DirecTV does not want to carry all seven channels because costs would be high with that many channels. So seeing all seven networks on a basic tier is likely not going to happen, but it would make sense to have the national feed of the Pac-12 Network be on a tier that does not require the sports package.
Then have the regional networks set up where each one -- such as the Utah/Colorado channel -- would be available as a regional sports network similar to ROOT Sports. The other regional networks could be available on the sports package tier, but the way White is talking that seems unlikely since they are not sure what to do with the group of channels.
For those with DirecTV get ready to find an alternate way to watch games on the Pac-12 Network somewhere else than the comfort of your home.
For more on the Pac-12 go check out Pacific Takes.
Larry Scott announced his plan for the Pac-12 Network and he hit yet another home run on this. Instead of hitching the leagues wagon to one cable provider, Scott was able to partner with the largest cable companies in the country. This will ensure that the fans in the league footprint should have very little issue finding the Pac-12 Network.
Here are the bullet point details from the press release, via Ralphie Report:
- The first big announcement to come out today is the creation of the Pac-12 Networks in partnership with Comcast, Cox, Time Warner and Brighthouse cable
- The second major announcement of the day was that the Pac-12 is creating six regional networks and one national network. The regional networks are Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Southern California, Arizona and Mountain
- At least 850 sporting events yearly on the Pac-12 Networks
- Launches in August of 2012
- Will be available to a wide range of viewers through arrangements with the cable partners
- Every single football and basketball game will be available in every state on the Pac-12 Networks (if not on one of the conference's other television partners)
- Hundreds of Olympic sports will be available
- Pac-12 Networks will be available on ANY DEVICE, TV anywhere
- The conference owns and controls the Pac-12 Networks
The two big takeaways I get from this is the ability to watch on any device which would include computers, tablets and smart phones. Not sure if live coverage is available on any device and if that was the case then it is another big win for the league. The other item to be excited about is the six regional networks and national network. That will provide coverage to more events to the local markets.
The only downside is that if you live outside of a Pac-12 state the Pac-12 regional and national networks will be on a pay-teir and there is currently no deal in place for satatllite.
The terms of the details were not disclosed, but the Pac-12 has already won with a $3 Billion television deal prior to the Pac-12 Network so anything else is a bonus.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is doing things different with the Pac-12 network and he is looking at every angle on how to broadcast his leagues games. The league is still doing research on what the Pac-12 Network will become and the options that were recently reported were for the league to start a new channel all together, partner with a network or go online only possibly partnering with Apple or Google. Now it is being reported by Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News who sent out two tweets about the latest plan for the Pac-12 Network:
Pac-12 exploring numerous options for network, including multiple platforms: fball and bball on cable TV, Oly sports on internet TVless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyJon Wilner
League doesn't want Pac-12 Network fball/bball games only shown on internet TV, hoping to strike balance w/ traditional broadcast outletsless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyJon Wilner
This makes the most sense to broadcast the revenue sports on television and then give an alternate outlet for the Olympic sports. To make the Pac-12 a premiere league they need to have their money sports on television, and now with the expected online distribution platform for the league they can now shine a light on the Olympic sports that the league takes so seriously.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is truly unearthing every rock to gain as much revenue as possible for the league he presides over. Scott has already negotiated the largest television deal in college sports and is currently looking to add possibly $1 billion for the Pac-12 Media Enterprise which includes a Pac-12 television network and streaming online.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the next step the Pac-12 is taking may include partnering with Google or Apple and bypassing broadcasting the Pac-12 network on television at all.
Wilner states that the league would be forfeiting the short-term revenue that comes with subscription fees and rely on advertisement money only. The league has the option to be picky since they already have netted $250 million per year deal, and the partnering with Google or Apple could bring more money in the future by broadcasting on cell phones, tablets and computers.
There are other options that the league is considering which is to start a television network from scratch, and that could cost upwards to $100 million. Distribution could also be an issue, but the league would receive all the profits. The third option would be to partner with Comcast or Time Warner and that would net immediate distribution to a larger portion of the country, but the downside would be that the Pac-12 would have to share profits with a network.
A combination of online streaming and creating a network seem to make the most sense and it would most likely net the league the most money overall. Whatever the league decides to do with the Pac-12 Media Enterprises they most certainly will not be suffering for cash.
More news is coming out about the Pac-12's multimedia deal and fans of the Pac-12 should be giddy of this latest update. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott spoke with CBSSports.com about Pac-12 Media Enterprises -- which consists of the Pac-12 television network and online presence -- and how it could possibly be worth $1 billion over the life of the contract be worth $1 billion over the life of the contract:
"I can tell you this, based on offers people have made to us we've got at least a billion-dollar business we're sitting on," Scott told CBSSports.com. "That's just Pac-12 Media Enterprises."
He later added: "That is a broad figure that has been thrown out to us by media investors. That's a potential minimum value over a seven-to-10 year period."
Dividing $1 billion among 12 schools could mean an additional $83 million is gross revenue total per school. Depending the on length of the deal, that means Pac-12 Media Enterprises alone could produce an additional $8.3 million-$11.9 million per year for each school. The schools already are guaranteed an average of $21 million per school in the ESPN-Fox deal.
This deal could possibly give each school over $30 million per year and would make the Pac-12 far and away the richest conference multimedia deal. The Pac-12 Media Enterprises is the company that will manage the league's new network, digital rights and conference level sponsorship and licensing.
If that extra money does not get you exciting there is also this:
The digital possibilities, he continues to say, are limitless. There are 2,700 Pac-12 "events" available for broadcast each year according to Pac-12 TV consultant Chris Bevilacqua. To date, only 131 of those have been sold. Scott wants Pac-12 content on every device imaginable. There already have been discussions with Google as a possible partner.
Partnering with Google is a big deal, because it means that YouTube could be in the works to stream the other Pac-12 events. All in all, this is another reason why Larry Scott is a visionary man and is taking the Pac-12 to new heights.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury news has been on the forefront of college football topics regarding the Pac-12 and west coast. He was able to speak with commissioner Larry Scott and was able to pull out some more nuggets about the Pac-12 television deal and the expected plan of a Pac-12 network.
First off is the money, it is going to $3 billion contract for 12 years which comes out to an average of $20.8 million per school per year. As Wilner points out, this is an average and the actually money earned per school start around $15 million and increase each year topping out at $25 million in the final year. This escalator cause really helps Utah who will not be a full revenue earning member until 2014-2015 season, plus the money will help the Colorado Buffaloes have enough money and not have to worry about lack of funds the state of Colorado when the next coach is on the chopping block.
An announcement is coming within 60 days and that is expected to be about the Pac-12 network. There were two options mentioned on the Pac-12 channel, the first being the league starts its own channel which could cost around $100 million to start, or take over and rebrand another channel, and an example given is Fox College Sports. Depending how the league-owned network is formed could determine the distribution of the network, and one way the league plans on combating that is to allow the Pac-12 network to have first pick of football games two times a year.
This television deal was not expected to be made until a few weeks from now, but with the NHL partnering with Comcast it forced ESPN to become serious in the Pac-12 media rights.
Earlier this morning, the Pac-12 officially announced their new television deal with ESPN and Fox as well as the creation of a Pac-12 television network and a Pac-12 Digital Network which includes a promise of "TV Everywhere" which will allow games to be distributed through tablets, cell phones and computers. This new television deal goes into effect with the 2012-2013 academic year.
Below are some highlights of the press release issued by the Pac-12 regarding what will be broadcast and where:
• 44 regular-season football games televised annually on select ESPN and FOX broadcast or national cable networks, including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX broadcast network and FX.
• 10 regular-season football games per year will be on a combination of the ABC and FOX broadcast networks with full national clearance with a substantial commitment for prime time coverage. 34 regular-season games on national cable networks, FX, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
•The remaining regular-season football games, an average of approximately three
games per week, will be featured exclusively on the Pac-12 Network
• The Pac-12 Football Championship Game, starting with FOX Sports in 2012 (FOX already has rights to the inaugural 2011 game) and then rotating between FOX Sports and ESPN each year. The game will take place on a Friday night prime time.
• 68 regular-season men's basketball games, appearing on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and Fox Sports Net.
• The balance of regular-season men's basketball games, over 120 each year, will be featured exclusively on either the Pac-12 Network or Pac 12 Digital Network.
• The Pac-12 Digital Networks will feature several hundred other live Pac-12 athletic events on an annual basis, not covered by ESPN, FOX Sports or the Pac-12 Network.
Again, this is a big step up from having football games only available on a regional basis on ABC and with some not even in high-definition. Basketball may be getting the biggest boost in exposure since they league is moving away from the Thursday/Saturday set of games and is now going to have games on any given day of the week. This allows for many more basketball games to be shown on television.
It is interesting to see the Pac-12 will host their football title game on a Friday night in primetime, and it does make some sense since championship weekend will be crowded with four major conferences having a conference title game.
There will be no shortage of ways to watch Pac-12 sporting events for the next 12 years.
The new Pac-12 television deal does not go into effect until the 2012-2013 years, but the deal makes them the most lucrative conference. The deal will make the Pac-12 schools actually visible outside of their local markets, and the fans of those teams are extremely happy.
Utah is the school that will gain the most since in the Mountain West they were making around $2 million per year and this new deal will give the Utes approximately 10 times the revenue with the move to the Pac-12.
We will take a look at what the SB Nation Pac-12 sites are saying about the new deal, and first up is Washington State blog Coug Center who talks about how the new television deal is a huge upgrade for fans:
First-tier rights are obviously going to go to ABC, Fox and ESPN, three channels which are virtually indistinguishable in terms of exposure to sports fans. (If you think a game being on ESPN is a step down from being on ABC or Fox, look at Monday Night Football. It's not.) But those second-tier rights that previously went to FSN? I just don't see that being the case anymore.
Fox wasn't going to pony up this kind of money unless it planned on putting a substantial amount of content on FX. That's a great thing for viewers, because FX has roughly the same distribution as ESPN nationally. ... I'm betting that the bulk of the second-tier games end up either on FX or on ESPN2. These are channels that are easy for viewers to find that are in virtually every home with a basic digital cable or satellite package across the entire country.
In other words, most of the Pac-12's television broadcasts will be available nationwide -- something that's not currently the case. Huge, huge victory.
Next up is soon-to-be Pac-12 member Colorado who is represented by Ralphie Report and they like the amount of football and basketball game that will be on television:
What should get fans really excited is what Wilner tweeted last night: "Based on what I've heard the past two weeks, no reason to think that (Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott) Scott won't make good on his promise to get every football and basketball game on TV." With two prominent networks involved like ESPN and Fox with multiple channels, we are going to be watching a ton of Pac-12 sports in the future.
Oregon State's Building the Dam likes that the partners are ESPN and Fox, and not Comcast:
On the positive side, Comcast is not involved. This is a significant point, given that much of Comcast's current offerings is not available to a significant amount of the Pac-12's footprint, particularly in the northwest. While the major markets are covered, at least in their core areas, much of the region is not.
UCLA fans over at Bruins Nation are hoping this financial wind fall will allow the student section seats to not be sold off to the highest bidder:
Given the additional cash flow coming UCLA's way the financial viability excuse used in attempts to steal students' sideline seating looks sillier. There will also be no excuses for not being able to make adequate improvements to our facilities and providing resources necessary to field elite major revenue programs.
Addicted to Quack feels this deal will only strengthen Oregon's lead in the arms race within the Pac-12 North:
For how this affects Oregon, this will provide a great boost the bottom line of the athletic department, and take a lot of pressure that's been building financially over the last few years. This money will give the Ducks a huge advantage over the rest of the conference, and especially the Pac-12 North.
While other schools struggle to simply keep their sports alive, the relatively financially healthy Ducks can use this money to innovate and hopefully make Oregon one of the premier athletic departments in the country.
This is a great deal for each and every school with the increased revenue that will flow their way as well as exposure that is unprecedented in the the history of the Pac-10 league.
While we await Wednesday morning's Pac-12 TV conference announcement, word is already coming out on the financial rewards that the Colorado Buffaloes will receive. According to the Boulder Daily Camera, the athletic department will more than double its current intake of TV revenue:
Colorado has been receiving about $10 million annually from the Big 12 or a little more than 20 percent of its total athletic department budget. That figure includes TV, bowl game and NCAA Tournament revenue. The new distribution numbers in television money alone would account for more than 40 percent of the current year's budget.
Still, the athletic department does not know the exact amount of money it will receive. Once that is determined a plan can be developed to determine how to use it.
What will happen under this new TV deal is an increased exposure for CU athletics across the country. With major networks broadcasting the conference, a Pac 12 TV station in the works and a media service like ESPN3.com being developed, Colorado and the rest of the Pac-12 will be well viewed.
The Pac-12 will hold a press conference Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. MT at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix to provide an update on the Pac-12 media rights negotiations. On Monday, reports were making the rounds that the Pac-12 has agreed to a 12-year, $3 billion television deal with the ESPN and Fox family of networks. The expected deal is to make the soon-to-be Pac-12 the richest conference from their media rights.
The press conference will be streamed live and can be seen below. The list of speakers are Larry Scott, Pac-10 Commissioner, Randy Freer, President of Fox Sports Networks, Burke Magnus, ESPN Senior Vice President of College Sports Programming. The exact details of the television deal is the obvious announcement, but expect questions to be directed toward Scott regarding the Pac-12s network since the only details are that it will be run by the league and have a digital element similar to ESPN3.com.
New Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is doing all he can to get his league the best exposure and money. Scott has floated the idea of playing games on Sunday if the NFL is still in a lockout, and the Sept. 11th game between Utah vs. USC is one of the games that was speculated.
More recently, the league moved the Colorado vs. USC game from Saturday afternoon to a Friday night so that it would be on ESPN2 as well of maybe two games that.
The television deal is where Scott has been working his hardest to get his league an SEC type deal. His first offer to Fox was $300 million per year, and he knew the deal would be rejected. The only reason is was offered was so that Fox would turn down the deal and allow the Pac-12 to negotiate in the open market.
It is being reported by Sports Business Daily that the Pac-12 is expected to sign a 12-year $2.7 billion television deal between Fox and ESPN:
The Pac-10 Conference has agreed to a media rights deal with ESPN and Fox that is worth more than $2.7B over 12 years, according to multiple sources. A formal announcement could come as soon as tomorrow. The deal, which averages out to more than $225M per year, includes football, basketball and Olympic sports rights. It is more than triple the conference's current deals with ESPN and Fox. The conference is holding some rights back that it still hopes to use for a dedicated channel.
As part of its deal, ESPN is picking up football and basketball rights, plus rights to a package of Olympic sports. ESPN has committed to carrying an unknown number of football games in primetime on ABC.
Fox picked up football and basketball rights. It will carry football games on its Fox broadcast channel in primetime and on FX. It will carry basketball games on FSN. ESPN and Fox will rotate coverage of the Pac-10's basketball tournament and football championship game. The conference becomes the Pac-12 on July 1 when Colorado and Utah enter the conference.
This comes out to be $18.75 million per team, but that number will actually be slightly higher since Utah does not get a full share until the 2014-2015 academic year. That $18.75 million number is actually higher per team then the mega-deal the SEC signed between ESPN and CBS back in 2009 -- currently the SEC schools make $18.3 million per school, per year. However, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the $225 million per year figure is low and the deal could actually be at $250 million per year and approximately $3 billion in total.
That number does not include the plan for a Pac-12 channel, so that number will only go higher. The New York Times spoke with Larry Scott and the Pac-12 network will have full ownership of the channel:
The Pac-10's new channel will carry at least 350 sports events. The conference is also creating a digital channel, like ESPN3, to carry at least 500 events annually, and a properties division to handle sponsorships.
Larry Scott is going to live up to his promise of giving the Pac-12 the richest television deal in college sports. This television deal will go into effect starting for the 2012-2013 academic year. Also Scott is expected to address the media tomorrow on this television deal.
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