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Pac-12 Network: DirecTV Issues Hardball Response

The Pac-12 Network and DirecTV seem to be staring at each other, and no one is willing to blink. Here is the satellite company's latest salvo.

Looks like you'll be waiting awhile for the Pac-12 Network if you're waiting for it on DirecTV. The satellite company has issued an edict that seems like it indicates it won't give into the TV network's demands. Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News files this report.

If the Pac 12 would allow us to make their network available only to those customers who want to pay for it, the channel would have already been on," said DirecTV spokesman Bob Mercer. "But, as it still stands, the price is much too high to accept their demand that we make it available to all customers, some of whom will have to take on this unnecessary cost for a channel they don't want.

"We will continue to work with Pac 12 Network to resolve this for the benefit of both fans and non-fans alike."

So yeah. No dice yet.

I'm not certain how much either side is willing to budge if we're now two weeks into this. The Pac-12 seems to want certain things that DirecTV appears to be unwilling to concede, likely a solid sports package that carries as much content as possible. That does not seem to reside within DirecTV's sphere of interest.

DirecTV is probably going to take their time here to try and get the Pac-12 Network to somehow cave toward more reasonable demands, because right now what the conference is suggesting is too steep a price for the carrier to latch onto for whatever package they'd lay it onto.

Is this just posturing? Maybe. But with Dish likely to steal a decent segment of Pac-12 fans (and probably USC fans in the next week or so with a game coming up on their channel), it'd be hard to imagine DirecTV drawing a firm line in the sand just to prove to their non-Pac-12 customers they don't want to be bullied into higher prices. You'd have to imagine some sort of deal could be negotiated similar to Dish where the National channel is available on the sports package and other channels are available locally, on TV overflow channels, or on TV Anywhere.

However, after last week the Pac-12 holds the high card. Right now, the conference has its national distribution except for the parts of the country that do not have Dish, so for the most part they should be satisfied with what they have this year and not have to worry about being battered into whatever DirecTV desires. Grabbing DirecTV would be a huge haul, and would ensure all sports fans (and particularly the satellite carrier catering to sports users) would have access to the channel if they truly wanted it. It's not necessary yet.

But for now, it looks like the stare-off continues.