Kudos to Jeff Taylor of the Husky Haul for scoring an interview with a big Pac-12 Network vice president of communications Kirk Reynolds and giving their writers an idea of what to expect with the new network. We learn pretty much what the conference will do, particularly with regards to their online distribution.
If you know the ESPN3 model, they pretty much force ISPs to bundle subscription costs into their overall fees, and those that don't pay the fees get barred. Lovely stuff. Thankfully, the Pac-12 Network will not explore this detestable practice of forcing its ISPs to provide the service, although I have to admit that probably because no Internet service would agree to such a plan for a niche network like the Pac-12.
The Pac-12 Network is straightforward with subscription: If you subscribe to get the TV network, you'll get the TV Everywhere package. But this is contingent on the "TV" part. You'd better have a cable or satellite subscriber.
The interview with Reynolds basically nixes any short-term hopes at an online-only subscription are pretty much dashed here.
Jeff Taylor: If you live outside of the Pac-12 footprint (say in New Jersey), will there be the possibility to get one of the regional networks or an al a carte package with cable or online to allow you to view only the games of university you graduated from?
Kirk Reynolds: In order to get the Pac-12 Networks you do need to be a subscriber to one of our distribution partners. We do not have a la carte options. Subscribers outside of the footprint would likely get the national network through a sports tier and would have access to all of the regionals on your computer, tablet, smartphone through your provider’s TV Everywhere service.
Jeff Taylor: Has the Pac-12 Network considered the possibility of having a stand-alone subscriber service where fans could pay a subscription fee and get an individual login to watch games online?
Kirk Reynolds: This question has come up quite a bit, but a la carte is simply not an option. You do have to subscribe to one of the distribution partners to get the networks.
For those of you who aren't paying attention: Those of you who have Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House and Cox and sign up for a package that has the Pac-12 Network, you're all in good shape. The rest of you are screwwwwwed -- at least, until deals start getting made in the next month.
So basically, keep the petitions going strong for getting the conference network on your cable or satellite provider.