The Pac-12 Network/DirecTV stalemate continues to be a big thorn for the conference, but outside of the city of Los Angeles (where anyone who doesn't have Time Warner is in a big pickle) the majority of the country that wants to watch the Pac-12 is in pretty good shape for viewing all the games they possibly can.
However, perhaps a bigger overall deal in terms of big-time games is how quickly Fox Sports 1 comes to the table. Sports Business Daily reports that three of the four biggest satellite/cable carriers (Time Warner, Dish, DirecTV) have yet to ink their deals.
14 of the 44 Pac-12 football games (over 30%!) will broadcast on FS1, and plenty of conference basketball will air on the network as well. Three USC/UCLA football games are slated to be on Fox Sports 1 by early October, and this is already in a crucial market struggling to carry the Pac-12 Network without DirecTV.
Fox Sports Media co-President Randy Freer sounded confident about reaching carriage deals when he spoke last week to analysts about his plans. Fox Sports 1 "will be available in up to 90M homes at launch," he told them.
FS1 will be debuting with some pretty impressive sporting events in their package, particularly the surging UFC. MLB, NASCAR and FIFA are also on board, so demand for the channel should be much higher than the more niche-based Pac-12 Network.
FS1 getting deals inked with Time Warner and at least one of the satellite carriers (if just one, preferably Dish, since DirecTV signing on and DISH not would cause a whole new set of problems for Pac-12 fans that are satellite carriers) would be huge in ensuring Pac-12 audiences don't get disturbed in their watching habits and become disgruntled with the television deal that was supposed to ensure the Pac-12 grew in its market share.
Hopefully a deal is reached quickly.