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MailTribune.com
  • Charter holds out on Pac-12 Network

  • I would like to know why Charter cable isn't carrying the Pac-12 Network? I have talked to many people who were disappointed that the Oregon game against Fresno State last Saturday wasn't available to us. It is being carried by other cable companies in the Northwest. I can't get an answer from Charter.
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  • I would like to know why Charter cable isn't carrying the Pac-12 Network? I have talked to many people who were disappointed that the Oregon game against Fresno State last Saturday wasn't available to us. It is being carried by other cable companies in the Northwest. I can't get an answer from Charter.
    — John B., via email
    While there are hundreds of channels available to cable and satellite providers, few come with a rabid fan base from the get-go. Sitcoms and mini-series take hype and marketing weeks and months before the debuts. Sports fans merely need to look at the schedule and are ready to tune in.
    That said, cable and satellite companies didn't exactly beat down the door when the Pac-12 Network was announced a few months ago. But as football season arrived at the end of August, interest in the San Francisco-based programmer with six regional and one national network began heating up. Just before the Oregon-Fresno State game last weekend, DISH Network came on board, expanding local viewing options in the Rogue Valley.
    The Pac-12 Network now has more than 40 agreements, including four of the top five providers in the country. DirecTV is the only one in the five not on the Pac-12 Network roster.
    Charter, which has large subscriber bases in Oregon and in Southern California, remains a holdout.
    "They don't think the fans care that much," said Kirk Reynolds, a Pac-12 Network vice president. "They've got such a big footprint in Oregon and a lot of subscribers around the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, so it doesn't make sense."
    While there are plenty of variables tied to each agreement, ultimately it's a matter of economics. How much is Charter willing to pay for the Pac-12?
    Reynolds said there are other issues, but nothing that can't be overcome.
    A Charter Communications spokesperson declined to comment, but websites have been created to encourage Charter to come to terms with the Pac-12 Network. Charter's Facebook page has numerous complaints posted on it.
    "We've seen the voice of the fans goes a long ways when it comes to influencing cable and satellite providers," said Brenna Webb, a Pac-12 Network spokeswoman, adding social media and phone calls played an important role in the recent DISH Network agreement.
    Of course, John, we all know what talks. Taking your money and subscription elsewhere speaks louder than any social-media rant.
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