DIRECTV Need Not Back Down to Pac-12 Network Demands

A chart provided by, a sports blog that often covers the disputes between cable sports networks and cable TV providers and satellite TV providers provides some interesting information: namely, that DIRECTV is second in the entire United States in subscribership, behind only Comcast Corporation. The satellite TV powerhouse is now one of the big boys, which is what gives it the power to push around smaller niche cable networks, such as is going on with the Pac-12 Networks right now.

DIRECTV’s major coup has been its exclusive hold on the NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, There’s no other option available for hardcore professional football fans. DIRECTV also has a very vast channel lineup, and tends to have much better customer service than the cable companies that have monopolies over cable service in given areas.

Here are the top 10 pay TV providers in the United States, along with their subscriber numbers:

  1. Comcast Corporation – 22,294,000
  2. DIRECTV – 19.966,000
  3. Dish Network Corporation – 14,071,000
  4. Time Warner Cable, Inc. – 12,653,000
  5. Cox Communications, Inc. – 4,756,000
  6. Verizon Communications, Inc. – 4,353,000
  7. Charter Communications, Inc. – 4,341,000
  8. AT&T, Inc. – 3,991,000
  9. Cablevision Systems Corporation – 3, 257,000
  10. Bright House Networks LLC – 2,079,000

The sports blog presents these numbers to show that DIRECTV is alone among the top providers in not coming to an agreement with the Pac-12 Networks, and that DIRECTV should back down in its hard stance to make the Pac-12 price come down. The truth of the matter is, though, that DIRECTV is the one in the position of power right now. They made Viacom, a much larger entertainment corporation, back down earlier this year after about ten days of outages for channels like MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

Bottom line: people across the United States are not going to switch providers because of the Pac-12 Networks, especially when the most high-profile college football games will air on ESPN/ABC anyway.

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