The Pac-12 Network might have landed a huge coup this Saturday when they got the Dish Network to come to terms just in time for the second week of the regular season. Now national distribution is pretty much all but assured to the vast majority of Pac-12 alum throughout the nation.
There is still one crown jewel left: DirecTV. If the conference gets this deal in place, then there's really not much left the conference has to worry about. They'll have won the national distribution battle, they'll have their games available in almost every public venue inclined to showing sports, and they'll have great distribution within their local markets to watch the conference channel.
But as they have before the deal, DirecTV seems willing to wait.
Pac12 Enterprises prez Gary Stevenson: "We are not close to a deal with DirecTV."— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) September 9, 2012
DirecTV has probably lost a bit of their leverage in these negotiations now that Dish is providing a national service. However, that doesn't mean they're just going to fold their cards and take whatever chips are left. DirecTV is probably very interested to see what Dish's layout will be before following suit or going in their own direction. They probably do not want to commit to too much or find out they've overpaid for something they don't want to see. They want to see how much of their audience actually peels away from DirecTV to Dish to watch the Pac-12 Network before they hop on board and make a deal.
The conference doesn't need DirecTV to succeed at this point, but earning the services of the company would pretty much complete their longstanding odyssey to getting all of the distribution they desire. They do know that anyone who wants the network should be able to find a way to get it. It's up to everyone else to step up and deliver.