David Shaw has always been honest when addressing the media and the offseason is no exception. While appearing in Nashville for last month’s NFL Draft, the Stanford Cardinal football coach said a television right distribution deal between to the Pac-12 and DirecTV was “vital” to the long-term success of the Pac-12 Network.
“We’ve been on the verge of it forever.” Shaw said about the over seven-year dispute between the conference and satellite provider. “That is huge for us. We have a lot of people that are alumni that I heard from every single year— that say when this is going to get done?”
As for the Pac-12 ever striking a deal with DirecTV? Not anytime soon.
“We held out some hope that when AT&T purchased DirecTV that might help break the loggerhead we were at with DirecTV, but that did not materialize, and I’m not expecting at this point in time there to be any change in that for the current term of our deal,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said last July.
The Pac-12 network is carried on 70 different distributors across the nation; but not the 27 million DirecTV subscribers in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.
An estimated $33.5 million is the revenue generated and passed on to every Pac-12 school from third-party rights with ESPN and FOX. That figure includes conference championships and bowl games. Perhaps a deal with DirecTV would boost more than the Pac-12’s popularity. According to a report earlier this year, the Pac-12 network took a six percent loss in total revenue, resulting in a “22 percent drop in net advertising revenue and a 30 percent plunge in digital revenue. Net affiliate revenue, the largest bucket, by far, was expected to drop by five percent.”
Here’s a breakdown of revenue for each P5 schools via direct television rights deals.
Big Ten: $17.5 million
SEC: $8.5 million
Big 12: $4.5 million
ACC: $4.3 million
Pac-12: 2.8 million
Of course, the staggering difference relates to the Pac-12 owning their own network without a larger broadcast support system. The SEC and ACC Network are owned solely by ESPN, while the Big Ten is a 51-to-49 split joint venture between FOX and the conference playing the minority role.