NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Tennis player John McEnroe attends the DIRECTV Old School Challenge Presented by ESPN at the 69th Regiment Armory on August 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for DIRECTV)
So much for the Pac-12 Network and DirecTV coming to terms. According to a source who is knowledgeable to these situations, it doesn't look as if either side has come to the table in time for the beginning of the season.
Apparently, there is a site online called dbstalk.com that monitors satellite news, including uplinks. SixtoReport, the supposed expert on DIRECTV HD uplink activity has tracked all the latest news on the satellite carrier. And as of now, DIRECTV had NOT uplinked any PAC-12 Networks for testing as of Wednesday.
My source indicates the following:
DIRECTV generally uplinks a channel for testing on Wednesday morning before 6am Pacific Time if a deal to carry that particular channel were imminent. Testing generally lasts 1 week before the channel is released to paid subscribers.
What could be holding things up?
It's hard to figure out the situation that could be holding up a deal. The big issue with the Pac-12 Network is their stake in the regional channels, which they want to be full-time channels. DirecTV does not. They view only the football games as top priorities, and would be willing to broadcast all the live football games on their satellite carriers for all the networks. But after that? Lights out on everything but the Pac-12 national network.
The big regional channel the conference does want to make available is Pac-12 Los Angeles because of the USC connection and high number of DirecTV subscribers in the Los Angeles area. Also, USC is still the team that draws the greatest national interest and will be the team that really drives national demand for the network. The more appearances USC makes on the Pac-12 Network, the more likely DirecTV will pick it up.
I would guess if DirecTV picks up the national network, TV Anywhere would allow you access to the rest of the content online if DirecTV consents to distributing content this way. This is probably the eventual compromise.
So could DirecTV and the Pac-12 Network sit on making a deal until the Cal-USC game until September 22nd, when the clamors grow long? It remains to be seen, but with each passing day it's looking less and less likely the Pac-12 Network will be ready for the day the games start going, i.e. next Thursday, August 30th. It could get complicated before it gets resolved.
One bit of news: If the Pac-12 Network goes live at any point (including next week), Channel 626 will likely be the channel number to carry it.
Basically, if you're a DirecTV customer and you want your Pac-12 Network, you better let them know. I Want Pac-12 Networks is where you want to go.