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DIRECTV Still Without Pac-12 Networks

The Pac-12 Networks, airing NCAA sports from the Pac-12 conference including basketball, football, and more, have been up and running for four years now, and are carried on most major cable and telecom providers. They have not, to this point, been available on satellite with DIRECTV, whose subscriber base leans more toward sports fans than non-sports fans due to the carrier’s exclusive rights with the NFL Sunday Ticket package.

Since AT&T and DIRECTV merged, many were hoping that the Pac-12 Networks would become available on DIRECTV. But talks have collapsed, and it doesn’t look like either party is willing to budge, leading to yet another college football season for DIRECTV subscribers without the Pac-12 series of networks.

More from the San-Jose Mercury News blog:

The league’s presidents and chancellors determined that AT&T’s requests would have compromised the networks’ business model and long-term profitability without granting enough in return.

The networks are wholly owned by the league, in contrast to counterparts at the Big Ten (co-owned by FOX) and SEC (co-owned by ESPN).

The proposal by AT&T, which took control of DirecTV this summer,  likely would have forced the Pac-12 Networks to redo their existing distribution deals (with Comcast, DISH, etc.) at a lower subscription rate, jeopardizing future profits.

AT&T is believed to have wanted an equity stake in the networks, according to a source, but that was not the primary concern of the CEOs.

The conference currently uses what’s called a Most Favored Nation agreement, which gives any partner access to the best subscription rates available.

In addition, the income from carriage on DirecTV would have been lower, initially, than previous reports ($2 million to $3 million per school per year), according to sources.

This could lead some sports fans to consider jumping ship to other satellite and cable TV providers.

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