SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Pac-12 Networks opened it football coverage Thursday night with the Utah-Northern Colorado game, with DirecTV subscribers unable to watch because of a distribution stalemate.
The network also televised the Arizona State-Northern Arizona game Thursday night, and has exclusive rights to 15 nonconference games and 20 Pac-12 games this season.
On Wednesday, the Pac-12 Networks issued an open letter to fans recommending they switch to another television provider. "If you're one of the fans who won't be satisfied without Pac-12 football, or our more than 135 men's basketball games and hundreds of other live events, we recommend finding Pac-12 Networks with another television provider," the letter said.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott addressed the situation Thursday night.
"The reason the Pac-12 Networks put out that note to fans is there's no signal from DirecTV it's going to happen any time soon," Scott said. "We want to fans to know if they have options, they ought to seriously consider them if they want to get football, basketball and all of the Olympic sports.
"Fans will vote with their pocketbook. If people want it, which I believe they will, and if they're not satisfied with their current service provider, they'll find one that does satisfy them."
The network has reached agreements with major cable companies such as Time Warner Inc., Bright House and Comcast Corp.
"We've got 30 different cable companies that have already signed up — an astounding amount in a short period of time," Scott said. "We've gotten great reactions from people. We know we're offering a fair market-based deal consistent with what the other cable companies have already agreed to and what the satellites do for the Big Ten. At the end of the day, they just got to decide what customers want."