Pop your champagne corks, Pac-12 fans. We're going national today.
"DISH is delighted to offer our customers more than 800 sporting events available on Pac-12 Networks each year, while giving them a great value," said Dave Shull, DISH senior vice president of programming. "This is a great partnership with the Pac-12 that goes beyond the TV screen to the campuses in the form of an exclusive sponsorship to support the programs and the students."
It's all thanks to you guys. Without your impetus to act and demand the Pac-12 Networks on Dish, who knows if this happens as quickly as it does!
All six Pac-12 games will be available today if you have a Dish satellite and are signed up for the Multi-Sport Back; if you don't, you can find a sports bar that carries Dish under the Multi-Sport Pack, and you should be able to tune in to watch whatever Pac-12 game wherever you are. Oklahoma State fans have to be breathing a huge sigh of relief now, as they were in danger of being in the dark for tomorrow's contest.
After the jump, more of the details.
Once the DirecTV deal fell apart, it became clear that Dish was the only other avenue for the conference to reach national distribution in its first year. With Comcast dragging its heels and many other teleco/cable providers holding off, the deal with Dish became imperative to ensure almost everyone around the country would have a chance to watch the Network this season. It appears with this Dish agreement we will satisfy many of these concerns.
Here are the details as we know them.
Only the Pac-12 National Network will be carried, with the remainder of the content available on overflow channels. Based on the original release, it appears there will be at least three channels: 413 is the national network, and 445 and 446 will carry overflow content. It's unclear if this is just for football and basketball games or all sporting events; we'll have to see what happens.
The regional channels will be available online via Pac-12 Now at a later date after the Pac-12 and Dish get everything installed in an orderly fashion.
There could be one piece of bad news: If the original uplink was true, channel 413 was meant for standard definition (although I could be wrong, although the lack of a mention on the press release makes me think it's SD). However, it seems like the hope in the Pac-12 offices is that high-definition will be available soon, if not today.
Regardless of whether it's high-definition or not, the most important thing is that Pac-12 Now will soon be available on Dish, which means we'll soon have all the contests available on high-quality digital feeds that'll be almost as good as an HD telecast. And besides, if you have to live with watching it on TV and no HD is available, half-quality college football is better than no college football at all!
This is only conjecture though. There could very well be a high definition feed tomorrow. We'll have to see what happens.
Rejoice! These are good times. Larry Scott has gotten pretty much everything we could have possibly wanted in the first year regarding distributing the network, and it only took a week or so of pain to get it.
(HT Brian Floyd for some helpful info)