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Pac 12 Network & AT&T: Are They Negotiating?

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Q. You wrote awhile back that AT&T’s deal to carry the Pac 12 Network would end in September. But the channel is still on U-verse (which AT&T owns). So, is there a new deal? Are the companies still talking? What’s up here? — Anna, Las Vegas.

Anna, you are right. I wrote last month that U-verse, which AT&T owns in addition to owning DIRECTV, could soon lose the Pac 12 Network if it did not sign a new carriage deal with the channel.

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AT&T even issued a notice to U-verse subscribers in August that said the Pac 12 Network’s contract was expiring and that the channel could soon be removed from the U-verse lineup.

However, here we are on September 24, and U-verse is still carrying the Pac 12 Network.

But what’s even more interesting is that AT&T has issued a new notice to subscribers saying that its contract with the Pac 12 Network is set to expire in November. If a new deal is not signed by November, AT&T says in the notice, the Pac 12 Network could be removed during that month.

This is a clear change from AT&T’s previous notice, and it suggests it has signed a temporary extension with the Pac 12 Network, something that’s only done when companies are trying to negotiate a new long-term pact.

So although one publication has written that AT&T had basically decided to walk away from the Pac 12 Network, the timing of this new notice would suggest otherwise.

And since AT&T also negotiates carriage deals for DIRECTV, and DIRECTV Now, any discussions regarding U-verse could still include those two services as well. (Note: AT&T’s U-verse signed its carriage pact with the Pac 12 Network prior to the telco’s merger with DIRECTV. The satcaster has never carried the Pac 12 Network.)

I will continue to watch this story in the coming days, and will report back here when I learn more.

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— Phillip Swann
@swanniontv

 

About TV Answer Man (1248 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

1 Comment on Pac 12 Network & AT&T: Are They Negotiating?

  1. I hope the parties reach a long term agreement but it is also possible that AT&T simply wants to extend the agreement until the end of the Pac 12 football season so they will have fewer cancellations when they drop the network.

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