Confused by DirecTV's Lakers Deal? We are too

Dear Pac-12 fans,

We read your questions daily about the status of an agreement with DirecTV. We know you are frustrated. We are too.

We are close to completing our first football season in which we will have televised 35 of the 79 home games, including 21 Conference games. We have had every team on the air at least three times and we have had 18 games featuring top 25 teams. And we will close the season with either No. 17 UCLA vs. No. 13 Stanford or No. 16 Oregon State vs. No. 2 Oregon on Saturday, November 24.

And we are equally excited about the start of the basketball season when we televise 150 games, including 94 Conference games.

We are ready to make a fair and market-based agreement and that has not changed since we launched the networks. However, it is obvious that DirecTV is not ready to make an agreement. Consider how they have responded to Pac-12 fans over the last three months.

  • First, they told us that Pac-12 fans were not passionate about their teams. Your response – more than 80,000 emails –changed that uninformed way of thinking.
  • Then, they told the fans that none of the games on the Pac-12 Networks mattered, but, once again, with your passionate response and with six teams in the top 25, that notion was dismissed just as quickly.
  • Next, they claimed our games should be offered on a pay per view basis, which was immediately dispelled as hypocritical given that there is not a single network in their entire sports lineup offered that way.
  • And finally, they continue to say that the price is too high – an especially confusing statement because 50 providers, including their closest competitors, have agreed to the same deal they are being offered.

So we think you are right to ask when will DirecTV stop confusing their customers and our fans.

DirecTV's decision to carry Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet this week sends another mixed signal to Pac-12 fans, particularly those in Southern California. They cited that Lakers fans were the reason they added the network. Meanwhile, Pac-12 fans, despite continuous demands for the content they want, have been shut out. There is no denying that the Lakers, USC and UCLA are iconic brands with extremely passionate fans bases.

And that fan passion runs deep throughout the entire Pac-12 footprint. Just ask Arizona basketball fans if they want to see every game or if Oregon fans are content with missing any of their games. DirecTV certainly knows the answers to those questions since they have built their business on sports programming.

We will continue to be diligent in our efforts to demonstrate to DirecTV how the passion and loyalty of our fans would be a great asset for them going forward.  And, we will not rest until every Pac-12 fan who wants the network can get it.

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