The Pac-12 isn't going to wait around and hope DirecTV comes to its senses and make a deal when it suits them. They're going to force them out into the open and make them look as bad as possible with conference fans who are subscribers to the satellite network.
DirecTV issued a statement that seemed to frame the Pac-12 in a bad light. Larry Scott wasn't happy with it, and it's clear he and the Pac-12 isn't playing around here. Their statement on Tuesday reflected as much.
We find DirecTV's position baffling. First, the deal we've offered DirecTV is fundamentally similar to the deal that has already been accepted by DISH, four of the largest cable companies in the country and more than 40 others. How can a deal that works for all those companies be "unaffordable" for DirecTV, the largest satellite TV provider in the country and the company that built its brand offering every subscriber the "all the sports they crave"?
Second, DirecTV's claim that the games on the Pac-12 Network are not of interest is absurd. In college football, every game is a big game - something we'd all expect the leader in sports to understand, particularly when it offers its customers Big Ten Network, CBS College and many regional sports networks. While we admire our Rose Bowl brethren at the Big Ten, why shouldn't Pac-12 fans and alums be insulted by DirecTV's decision to trivialize the games that matter to them? Just like those Big Ten fans, we want to see every game our teams play.
Put simply, DirecTV is failing its customers and betraying its promise to be the sports leader.
Fans must continue to step up to the plate and demand the Pac-12 Network from their cable and satellite subscriber if they're not receiving the network already.
The Pac-12 could be overstepping their boundaries. There's a definite possibility that DirecTV could balk at the hardball negotiating tactic and just back away completely. But the Pac-12 seems to believe that being proactive is their best bet in getting their network on DirecTV.
Why is that? Well, social media is a big deal these days, and the Pac-12 has been all over this since the beginning. They know that bad PR on the Internet can sway the decision-making of any company, and the best way to motivate the Pac-12 fans is to keep them talking about the satellite carrier in a negative light. The more negative publicity DirecTV gets with Pac-12 fans, the more likely they'll be susceptible to losing customers, and the more likely DirecTV will be willing to make a deal.
Is there a distinct possibility the Pac-12 Network doesn't get carried by DirecTV? Yes, of course. But there's no reason for it not to go all-out now. They know that only a few days may separate the conference network from landing a deal with the satellite company or not. After the Cal vs. USC game (which has lost a lot of its luster), the pickings might get too slim for DirecTV to get too bent out of shape to make a deal with this season. And then there's a good chance the network gets frozen out of DirecTV for a whole year.
So it's now or never for the conference. Get the deal going by any means necessary, even if it means calling the other side out by name publicly.