Dish Network Gets Category Exclusivity As Part Of Multiyear Carriage Deal With Pac-12 Net
The Pac-12 Network and Dish Network Saturday reached a multiyear deal allowing the satellite operator to carry the net's programming. As part of the deal, Dish gains exclusive category sponsorship for Pac-12 programs, including stadium signage and logo rights with the schools (Dish). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth noted the deal leaves DirecTV, Charter, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS "as the other major cable and dish operators who have yet to work out a distribution deal.” Dish joins Time Warner Cable, Cox, Comcast and Bright House “as the major carriers for the Pac-12 Network.” The exclusive sponsorship on Pac-12 campuses that the deal gives Dish “could be a perceived advantage over rival DirecTV when it comes to getting the word out about one product versus the other.” Despite not having all major providers signed up, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said, "If you look at it, we're three weeks into it and we have four out of the top five distributors. ... I think it's on par, if not better than any other launch that's taken place." Scott added DirecTV has been "offered the same deal that Dish has been offered, so no doubt it's a fair deal." Hoffarth noted Dish has put the Pac-12 channels on its America's Top 120+ package and above "for customers who live in the six states with a conference school,” while they are “available nationwide in the Multi-Sport Pack” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/9). Scott said, "I don't know if there's ever been a network, at least in recent history, that has launched with every distributor on board right away. In fact, there are some well-known networks and other sports that don't have one yet. Frankly, for anyone who studies these things, you see that distribution is a process. You never have it perfectly wrapped up in a bow from day one” (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/8).
SHORT-TERM FIX: The Big Ten Network and Dish Saturday also announced an agreement in principle for Dish to continue carrying BTN and the two sides expect to finalize a long-term agreement soon (BTN). In Indiana, Mike Carmin noted this is the "second straight week" the parties reached a carriage agreement (JCONLINE.com, 9/8).