In case you missed the latest piece of news about media consolidation, AT&T has entered into talks to buy DirecTV. The deal is worth $49 billion, and AT&T/DirecTV could be the #2 provider of cable in the country, behind new mega cable company Comcast/Time Warner. As if your cable and internet options didn't suck enough already. (Just a side note: This deal may not come to fruition if DirecTV does not resign with the NFL for Sunday Ticket.)
The obvious implication for this is the Pac-12 Network on DirecTV: AT&T carries it, DirecTV does not.
Jon Wilner from the SJ Mercury News broke it down:
Reaction I: If you’re a Pac-12 fan and missed the initial news, take note:
AT&T’s purchase is the best chance for the Pac-12 Networks to get on the DirecTV airwaves.
Reaction II: The transaction is a long way from being done. It won’t close until next year and must be approved by federal regulators, which is anything but a given.
Yes, this finally might be what the Pac-12 needs to get on DirecTV. DirecTV has long balked at paying the higher subscriber fee for Pac-12, and the Pac-12 refuses to budge on the price point.
Reaction III: If the Feds sign off, then AT&T would acquire DTV’s 20 million (approx) customers. DTV is expected to exist as its own unit and could, in theory, continue to reject the terms the Pac-12 has offered.
Basically, there won't be an instant hope that Pac-12 will be immediately available on DTV once the deal is approved, but in time a deal could be made with AT&T and the Pac-12 Networks, instead of with DirecTV.
Here is the bad news: this deal will not be approved before 2014 football season, so if you're a DTV subscriber that's still holding out, it's time to go find a bar with Dish Network.
If the Pac12Nets appear on DTV’s airwaves as a result of the takeover, it wouldn’t happen until 2015, or perhaps even 2016.
That's a long time to wait.
However, as a side note, Comcast and Time Warner are also merging, and part of that merger deal includes Charter. If that deal is approved, many more west coasters will receive Pac-12 Networks. As more telecoms pick up Pac-12, hopefully the drumbeats will get louder and DTV will eventually give in.