Larry Scott, Pac-12 still keeping fans in the dark

Arizona Sports News online

I’m sure he’s sick of answering it. Trust me, we the media, are sick of asking it.

To many, myself included, it’s become nothing more than white noise.

Or in this case like the grainy snow on my parent’s 200-pound vintage 70’s television with the VHF-UHF turn-button knobs which now sits buried under blankets in the back of their garage.

What about myself and the 20 million other DirecTV subscribers who are getting shutout more than the Colorado football program these days

I’m talking about Pacific-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott and his network’s 14-month standoff with DirecTV.

Saturday afternoon Scott, whose forward-thinking vision has elevated the Pac-12 more in the past four years than anyone could have imagined, held a small media gathering in the press box before Arizona State’s game against Washington.

As the obvious question rolled off a local television reporter’s tongue the well-spoken Scott flashed a smirk and probably only heard “Pac-12 Network,” “DirecTV,” “frustration,” and “solution” for the umpteenth time.

“We have a responsibility to the schools,” he explained.

What? The schools?

What about us? What about myself and the 20 million other DirecTV subscribers who are getting shutout more than the Colorado football program these days?

ASU head coach Todd Graham called their 53-24 blowout of UW probably the best performance he’s seen since he arrived in Tempe last year. Too bad so many Arizona residents missed it because it was a Pac-12 Network broadcast.

For years the Pac-12 has yearned for respect on the national football stage with the SEC, Big Ten and Big-12. This season the conference is stacked with high-end heavyweights like Oregon, Stanford and UCLA who can play with nearly any team in said conferences. For critics, the only way to believe it is to see it. The ‘ole eyeball test. Too bad they can’t.

The blackout is also hurting the economy. Nearly every sports bar carries DirecTV because of their moneymaker, NFL Sunday Ticket. Sure, you can take the time out of your day to call around and try to figure out where the game will be shown if they subscribe to cable but who has time for it?

It’s gotten so bad the Pac-12 has asked people to drop DirecTV for cable. For me, that’s like dropping Coke for Pepsi.

It ain’t happening.

You can’t even persuade me with this cute little dig at Direct.


Look, this is a you problem, not a me problem. I’m sick of the political leveraging. Sports fans don’t care about pro athlete’s salaries. They want results on the field from those players. Same goes for the empty board room where Pac-12 Network and DirecTV are supposed to be working towards an agreement.

DirecTV representatives haven’t said a word on this since the Pac-12 cut a deal with Direct’s little brother, Dish Network.

Scott stressed these distribution deals take time and cited NFL Network who, after eight years, reached a pact with Time Warner Cable, who’s LA-based market is a must for the league.

More white noise.

Fair or not this falls on you, Larry Scott. You’re the branch from said board room to the fans. You’re the face of the Pac-12.

Greed is hurting yourself, your conference and most importantly, your fans.

You’ve done so much good for the conference let’s hope this isn’t what defines your legacy.

For many, it’s already too late.