The Pac-12 Network has decided to regionalize telecasts for all of their six regional networks so they can provide more custom regional broadcasts.
This strategy would make plenty of sense for the Pac-12 Tournament... if the Pac-12 Network was made the standard channel that all sports subscribers were getting on their basic cable packages, and the regional channels were switched to the more specialized sports package.
But here's the thing. The Pac-12 neglected to make that switch. The regional channel is on the basic package, while the national channel is on the specialized package. In fact, they've neglected to make the switch for the entirety of the college basketball season, depriving most Pac-12 fans from watching 80% of the college basketball games they could actually watch.
And now for the Pac-12's signature package--the Pac-12 tournament--most of the West Coast will be stuck watching the games involving their regional teams, and be totally out of luck
So unless you have a very specific TV package that provides you with both Pac-12 National and your Pac-12 regional carrier, YOU ARE OUT OF LUCK TRYING TO WATCH THE ENTIRE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT. Your only hope is the online streams via Pac-12.com, which have been to this point laggy and not updated to real time, making it impossible to stay caught up with an event to the extent that other sports networks have been able to handle.
If you're a Cox subscriber in Phoenix or Tucson, good luck watching any of the games on the Pac12Nets this week that don't involve Arizona or Arizona State. (Good thing nobody cares about Pac-12 hoops in Tucson!)
If you're a Cox subscriber in Southern California/San Diego â and there are only 1.2 million of 'em âgood luck watching any of the Pac12Nets games this week that don't involve USC or UCLA.
(Of course, DirecTV subscribers can't see any of the eight games on the Pac12Nets this week. For them, the event might as well not exist until the championship game.)
There's another issue at play with the Pac12Nets, which should serve to further frustrate fans:
Many cable systems inside the league footprint, including the biggest, Comcast, place the National feed on a sports tier (extra $$$) and only show it in Standard Definition.
In other words, the number of fans who ...
1) Don't have access to all the tournament games and/or
2) Will have to pay to get access to all the games (via the National feed on a sports tier) and/or
3) Won't see most of the games in HD
... That's a significant number of fans, to say the least.
For some insane reason, the Pac-12 regional networks are currently airing encores and replays of older regional events, like older Cal/Stanford basketball games in Bay Area, UCLA/USC hoops in Los Angeles or random Olympic sporting events whereever.
It's sheer madness. The shift of the national channel to the basic cable package and regional channels to the higher tier sports packages better come before football season, or the Pac-12 Networks will be in dire straits come the end of 2016.