Welcome to the middle of a pissing match.
The Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV are both mad at one another, and they're bringing the fight to the fans. It's like two 4-year-olds convincing their mom or dad that they deserve the extra gumball that dropped into the trey of the gumball machine.
Really, mom and dad don't care. Mom and dad, though, have to deal with each silly child's silly argument. The easy thing would be to give neither said gumball or to buy another gumball and give them to both, but that's where this analogy falls apart. Fans want to get DirecTV with the Pac-12 Network, and they don't care who gets the deal done. Also, they want both sides to stop bringing them into the middle of it.
The Pac-12 recently released this letter to fans, which questions DirecTV's commitment to providing an array of sports coverage to fans. DirecTV responded with a Q&A of silly fact. Yes, whereas the Pac-12 letter really provides little information about the innerworkings of two large media companies trying to reach a deal, DirecTV's factual approach -- which games are going to appear, etc. -- comes across really poorly with an argument that fans care so much for RANKED teams instead of, gee, the teams they root for. What a weird concept.
Let me lay out some poor logic for you:
We don't want any fans to miss games because, when they feature your alma mater or favorite team, that's the most important game to you. The Pac-12 Network has only two conference games scheduled this Saturday (please see schedule above) and the premiere conference match-up between #22 Arizona and #3 Oregon is on ESPN (and DIRECTV)
The Pac-12 plays a total of 144 football games, and after this weekend, the conference has reserved only 18 more for its own Pac-12 Network. All the rest are someplace else, primarily ABC/ESPN and FOX and FX.
OK, so Arizona and Oregon are on ESPN. Whoopdy-doo, that's the best game. But maybe some fans from Colorado want to suffer with their Buffs, as they did against Sacramento STate. Maybe the Golden Bears fans want to hope Cal can topple a pissed off USC Trojans squad this weekend.
Pac-12's response to DirecTV:
This is too good. RT @pac12: Cal, USC, Utah, Arizona State fans, are you merely "Other Pac-12 action"?!!! @directv— Pacific Takes (@PacificTakes) September 20, 2012
The point, for those of you counting at home, is that the games ARE on TV for everyone else and DirecTV is withholding some fans' duties as proper Americans to watch them.
More from the letter from the Pac-12 to fans:
[...] DirecTV's claim that the games on the Pac-12 Network are not of interest is absurd. In college football, every game is a big game - something we'd all expect the leader in sports to understand, particularly when it offers its customers Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network and many regional sports networks. While we admire our Rose Bowl brethren at the Big Ten, why shouldn't Pac-12 fans and alums be insulted by DirecTV's decision to trivialize the games that matter to them? Just like those Big Ten fans, we want to see every game our teams play.
Put simply, DirecTV is failing its customers and betraying its promise to be the sports leader. Based on the company's position today, fans will miss out on 20 upcoming conference football games airing on the Pac-12 Networks, nearly half of the season's remaining conference games, including some of the most compelling rivalries in the country. Fans will also miss out on the 20 hours of in-depth analysis, coaches' shows and previews that air each week, as well as the 150 men's basketball games, (nearly 70 percent of all Conference games) including eight tournament matchups, scheduled to air later this year.
Fair points, Pac-12.
But in the end, none of this matters. Maybe the Pac-12 is asking too much. Maybe not. The existence of the network, however, was to provide those games to as many people as possible. As of now, the Pac-12 isn't doing that. And we don't know or care whose fault it is.