Five years after Pac-12 Networks launched, there is renewed optimism they might strike a deal with DirecTV.
Mark Shuken takes over as president of the digital cable and satellite television company on Sept. 5 and he's fielding non-stop questions about the availability of their seven channels — six regional networks and the national Pac-12 Network channel — on DirecTV.
“One of the things that I know about DirecTV,” he said this week, “is that they position themselves openly and consistently as the leader in sports. … Clearly their positioning suggests that they should be carrying the Pac-12 Networks.”
Shuken, who was president and CEO of DirecTV sports network from 2009-11, said there's a possibility they could reach an agreement with the satellite TV provider in the near future.
“I have not had any personal conversations with anybody there yet,” added Shuken. “But I look forward to learning how we can connect with them because, again, their customers are expecting the best in sports content. And right now, they don’t have it in the form of the Pac-12 Networks.”
The conference and network have been ridiculed for not signing an agreement with DirecTV, something they were able to do with Dish Network, Comcast, Charter and other companies. That combined with late kickoff times have been blamed for a lack of exposure, revenue streams and respect across the country.