I DID IT! (in my magical thinking brain, at least)
Just five days after my annual blog post rant about DirecTV not carrying the Pac-12 Networks -- and the Pac-12 Networks not being offered on any streaming service -- today a deal has been announced between Sling TV and the Pac-12 Networks.
SAN FRANCISCO– Pac-12 Networks announced today a new agreement with Sling TV to make all six Pac-12 Networks regional feeds, which collectively offer live coverage of more than 800 sporting events, available to Sling Orange and Sling Blue customers who subscribe to the “Sports Extra” add-on pack as six separate channels. Sling TV is Pac-12 Networks’ first over-the-top provider to offer the network’s content, enabling Sling TV customers to watch Pac-12 games, regardless of their location.
“This is a great way for Pac-12 Networks to kick off the 2016 football season,” said Pac-12 Networks’ president, Lydia Murphy-Stephans. “Our six regional networks, featuring 800 live sporting events and all-access original programming, will now be available over-the-top on Sling TV for Pac-12 fans across the country. Sling’s innovative delivery model and great interface makes it incredibly easy for our fans to stay connected with their favorite Pac-12 school, team and sports.”
“Students, alumni and Pac-12 fans can now enjoy conference games without regional restrictions,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “With Sling TV, Pac-12 Networks games have never been more affordable and accessible. As a Pac-12 fan, I can’t wait to watch the ‘Conference of Champions,’ on Sling TV – the premier destination for college sports fans.”
Naturally I had to jump on this.
I'd rather have the Pac-12 Networks be part of my DirecTV package, but I'm so damn irritated at DirecTV for not being able to work out a deal with the Pac-12 Networks for five freaking years, I'm pleased to pay $25 a month to get Sling Orange ($20/mo) with the Sports Extra add-on ($5/mo) just to figuratively poke DirecTV in its corporate eye with a silent scream of Take this, you jerks -- Sling TV is getting my Pac-12 Networks money rather than you!
It was a breeze to sign up for a 7-day trial with Sling TV. (Which is owned by Dish Networks, so that's an extra poke in the eye of DirecTV.)
After signing up, I fired up my Apple TV, downloaded the Sling TV app, put in my Sling TV password, and voila!, I was watching an OSU/Oregon volleyball game on the Pac-12 Networks -- which conveniently had a scroll at the bottom of the screen announcing the deal with "its newest TV provider, Sling TV."
I can't tell you how satisfying it was to take the photo above of the volleyball game on our big screen TV.
I've been watching Pac-12 Networks games for so long on my 13" MacBook Pro laptop via technically illegal streaming sites, the pleasure of finally getting the Pac-12 Networks on our television was well worth the $25 a month that I'll have to fork out to Sling TV if I keep subscribing after the 7-day trial ends.
Which I almost certainly will.
Anyway, I'm glad to take credit (again, in my own mind) for writing the blog post that provided the karmic impetus for getting the Sling TV deal done with the Pac-12 Networks. I'll quote myself from my September 3 blog post:
This is the freaking fifth year I've complained about DirecTV not carrying the Pac-12 Networks. Count 'em: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
...I hope both DirecTV and the Pac-12 Networks realize they're acting like idiots. Their five year pissing match over broadcast rights/fees has passed the point of ridiculousness into Asinine Abject Absurdity.
...here we are, a year later, with me and many other unhappy DirecTV customers ferreting out unauthorized streams of Pac-12 Network games, because there is no legal way to watch them without subscribing to a cable or satellite service that offers the Pac-12 Network. Which is stupid, since other leagues offer stand-alone streaming.
But ever the optimist, this story gives me some reason to hope: "Pac-12 Networks hires cable executive to solve distribution problems."
...Well, Ms. Budill looks like an attractive, charming, competent woman. If she is able to break the corporate logjam that is preventing DirecTV and the Pac-12 Networks from working out a deal, I'll nominate Budill for a Satellite TV Peace Prize.
The Sling TV deal is a good start, Ms. Budill. Now, work out a deal with DirecTV to carry the Pac-12 Networks so I can stop paying $25 a month to Sling TV. Then you'll really be entitled to your Satellite TV Peace Prize.