DIRECTV apparently plans to keep giving the stiff arm to fans of West Coast-based sports teams.
Charter, which has the management rights to SportsNet LA, the TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said recently that it appears that DIRECTV (and other pay TV operators) will not carry the regional sports channel again this year.
Since its launch in 2014, the satellite TV service has refused to carry SportsNet LA, saying it’s asking for excessive carriage fees. Charter disagrees, but DIRECTV’s position is supported by the fact that no other major pay TV service in the LA market has added SportsNet LA as well. (Except, of course, for Charter itself.)
Still, DIRECTV’s hard-line on the Dodgers channel has irked many Dodgers fans who subscribe to the satellite service.
And now Larry Scott, the commissioner of the Pac 12 conference, is telling the media that DIRECTV is unlikely to carry the Pac 12 Network again this year.
“That’s the way it looks. I’ve got no reason to believe that’s going to change,” Scott told KJR Radio in Seattle. “We’ve tried a lot of different angles with them, including a relationship with AT&T (which owns DIRECTV) and offering benefits on campuses, and that hasn’t gotten it done.”
The satcaster has not carried the regional sports channel, which airs Pac 12 basketball and football games, since its launch in 2012.
However, unlike SportsNet LA, which is devoid of carriers, Dish, Sling TV, Charter, fuboTV and even DIRECTV’s sister TV service, U-verse, has the Pac 12 Network in their lineups.
AT&T has maintained that not having the Pac 12 Network, and SportsNet LA, has not hurt DIRECTV’s subscriber totals. But it remains to be seen if that continues. The Pac 12 largely features West Coast-based teams, but it’s increasingly popular with fans from coast to coast.
— Phillip Swann
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