Aug 16, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; A television sound dish sits on the field prior to the game between the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Browns defeated the Packers 35-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
While there are many conflicting reports as to how far the Pac-12 Network and DirecTV are progressing in negotiations, both sides do seem to be amenable toward trying to make a deal of some sort. That is a definite good sign that the situation could be resolved sooner rather than later.
Here is the latest rumor regarding the network and the satellite carrier, and it is an upbeat one.
If these sources are correct, don't expect anything of the sort to happen with the Dish Network though.
DirecTV has made it extra clear that sports are their main lifeblood, particularly with their valuable NFL Sunday Ticket property. Clearly they do not want to lose significant stakes in their West Coast markets to the cable providers that are picking up the Pac-12 Network, especially in the Los Angeles region (and Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Salt Lake City aren't exactly small potatoes either). The big sticking point figures to be whether the conference will be able to get the regional channels national carriage, which is probably unlikely compared to getting only the national channel distribution. Whatever happens, TV Anywhere will almost certainly follow, so DirecTV making some sort of deal should ensure subscribers get to watch whatever they want regarding the conference.
Dish, on the other hand, doesn't really have a clear focal point with regards to their target audience. Dish is in many ways the Walmart version of DirecTV, focusing on cheaper prices and deals to gain the majority of their customers. However, cheaper options usually means less of a focus by customers on sports programming, which means less impetus to add startup channels like the Pac-12 Network. It's likely they will be one of the last carriers to pick up the channel. If you have Dish now, you'd better think about switching carriers that do provide the Pac-12 Network for the near future.
It's quite possible demand will eventually force Dish to pick it up, but they are unlikely to be the early adopters of this satellite service. DirecTV is going to have to trailblaze down the satellite path to ensure everyone throughout the United States will have the option to watch the Pac-12 Network on TV.