Golden Nuggets: Pac-12 Network Plans to Expand to New Carriers

US PRESSWIRE

The Pac-12 Network will negotiate with a handful of carriers over the next couple months to expand the network's footprint. While a deal with AT&T or Verizon may come relatively soon, the network has yet to entice the biggest fish of them all: DirecTV.

If there's one area where Jon Wilner has excelled as a reporter over the past year, it's updates on the Pac-12 Network. The Network is not content with the status quo and intends to expand this offseason.

Checked in with Pac-12 Enterprise President Gary Stevenson about a variety of topics. Naturally, we touched on the prospects for a Pac-12 Networks distribution deal — with DirecTV and/or other carriers — sometime between now and the start of football.

“I’m confident we’ll make a lot of progress in the next 60-90 days,” Stevenson said.

He didn’t get into details, and I didn’t get the sense that he was necessarily referring to DirecTV.

But given how close-to-the-vest Stevenson plays carriage negotiations for the past year, his expression of confidence qualifies as significant.

So which carrier(s) is close to a deal?

Within the league’s footprint, five affiliates don’t carry the Pac-12 Networks, Stevenson said.

One is a smaller carrier: Cable 1, which is in Arizona and some areas of the Pacific NW.

The other four are major: Charter, Verizon, AT&T and DirecTV.
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If the Pac12Nets are on the verge of a deal, my guess is that it’s not with DTV. (Feels too early: If DTV is going to sign up, it won’t be until mid-/late-August.)

And because Charter moves in virtual lockstep with DTV, we can probably eliminate it, as well.

So if there’s movement, it’s most likely with AT&T or Verizon. And if the Pac12Nets gets one, perhaps the other would cut a deal soon thereafter.

More providers would be better, but there is clear room for improvement with their current carriers (as many of their customers will tell you)...

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