Football season is just around the corner. For Tucson-ian DirecTV customers, it just might be something to cry over. If you had DirecTV last football season you already know you have a much higher chance of finding an Iowa Hawkeye game than an Arizona Wildcat game here in Tucson. The Wildcats are damn near extinct on DirecTV.
DirecTV did recently sign a deal with Fox Sports 1, but that should fall short of the Pac 12 Networks’ coverage of the Wildcats as well as other Pac-12 teams. As of today, only the Oct. 10 game against USC is listed to be be carried on FS1.
Comically the Pac-12 Networks have launched an all out war against DirecTV for not carrying the conference television networks. The multimedia campaign encourages subscribers to bench DirecTV for a distributor that carries the Pac-12 Network.
See the Arizona Wildcat spot, “Arizona Fans: Have you Switched?” here.
The Pac-12 Networks include a conference-wide channel, plus six sub-regional networks. It has deals with more than 50 distributors, including three of the top four: Comcast, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable. But DirecTV remains unwilling to reach the same deal the others have agreed to.
DirecTV has issued a statement on its website saying, “DirecTV wants to make Pac-12 Network available to the fans who want it. To do that, Pac 12 either needs to agree to a price to make it affordable for all of our customers, as we’ve offered and done with dozens of other sports networks, or allow Pac 12 fans to buy the network separately or purchase individual games on demand. Unfortunately, Pac 12 has refused all of these options. Regardless, we stand ready to agree to add the network if they propose a deal that’s fair.”
“We realize this is affecting many of our fans, and we share their frustration,” said Pac-12 Networks president Lydia Murphy-Stephans in a statement. "We built the Pac-12 Networks to give fans unprecedented access to their favorite teams and sports on TV, and with just two weeks before the fall sports schedule begins DirecTV continues to deny them that access.”
During the conference’s Football Media Day on July 26, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott initially urged fans to drop DirecTV, saying the provider has rejected offers that are "fundamentally the same" as 50-plus other outlets across the country they have accepted.
The “Compare” campaign will include digital, print, outdoor and radio outlets.
Some key players of the league’s schools, including Arizona’s Greg Bryne and ASU’s head coach Todd Graham, have gotten in on the fun too. They appear in testimonial videos on the Pac-12 website with messages to their fans explaining why they should switch.
The first Wildcat game will kick off Friday, August 30th in Tucson at 7pm against Northern Arizona University. The Pac-12 Network will broadcast it live. Thanks DirecTV.